March 13, 2013
Volume 15, Issue 6
Midwifery Today E-News
Print Page

Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

Midwifery Today Online Store

Learn how to work with VBAC moms.

Part of Midwifery Today’s Holistic Clinical Series, The VBAC and Cesarean Prevention Handbook is filled with articles by midwives, doulas and mothers on the powerful experience of VBAC. You’ll also find technical information about cesarean sections and VBACs designed to help you support VBAC moms in a safe and empowering way.
To order

MT online store

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

Look below for more info!

Learn the art and essence of midwifery care

Eugene conferenceSign up for Essential Midwifery, a full-day workshop designed for all midwives and aspiring midwives. You will learn the heart, soul and joy of the calling as well as the challenges. Teachers include Carol Gautschi (pictured), Anne Frye and Gail Hart. Part of our conference in Eugene, Oregon, April 2013.

Learn more about the Eugene conference.

Promote your product or service at the Eugene conference. For more information, go here to download the ad flyer.

Learn about breech birth with Cornelia Enning, Carol Gautschi and Gail Tully

Belgium conferenceYou will spend the morning with Cornelia (pictured) as she shows you how to work with breeches in water and explains the advantages of waterbirth for breech presentation. In the afternoon, Carol and Gail will show you how to turn breech babies and discuss what to do if the baby won’t turn. The class covers palpation skills, estimating fetal weight, amniotic fluid, how to communicate with the baby with touch and words and much more. This full-day class is part of our conference in Belgium October 30 – November 3.

Learn more about the Belgium conference.

In This Week’s Issue

Quote of the Week

You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.

Eldridge Cleaver

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 primary ingredient for a successful transport is communication. I believe open and honest communication best exists within a relationship that is established and ongoing between midwife, client and physician. In my case, the direct entry midwives in my area sought me out for a cup of tea. This informal meeting turned into a question and answer session on “What would you do if…?”

Anne E. Stohrer, MD, excerpted from “Transport Etiquette,” Birth Wisdom, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. III, a Midwifery Today book
View table of contents / Order the book

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

Jan’s Corner

Re: February 13 edition of E-News, Jan’s Corner

I was so passionate in writing about birth freedom and mothers being abused—an issue close to my heart—that I got carried away and didn’t use words and images as carefully as I should have. It was unwise on my part to make this comparison. My sincere apologies to all I have offended. I ask you to please forgive me. The article has been taken down and we at Midwifery Today have again been reminded to be more careful with the content we publish.

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:
Jan on Facebook:
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook:
Birth Is a Human Rights Issue:
Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing:

Please support our advertisers!

Products for Fertility, Pregnancy & Nursing Health


Fairhaven Health has been partnering with midwives for years by offering a broad range of doctor-designed products to help couples conceive naturally and to support women throughout pregnancy and nursing. We provide natural fertility supplements, ovulation prediction tools, prenatal vitamins, stretch mark creams, breastfeeding supplements and much more. Contact us today for brochures and/or wholesale pricing!

Featured Article

Necessary Cesarean

“I don’t think a 25% cesarean rate is too high.” The words jolted me to attention. The speaker is a woman I respect: my cousin, a family historian, who has farmed with her husband in the Midwest for decades. I forced myself to overcome my prejudices and listen to her seriously. “Not if it saves women from what my niece is going through,” she continued.

The niece delivered her son vaginally six years ago. He was a big baby and during the difficult birth, the oxygen supply to his brain fell too low. He is disabled with cerebral palsy and can neither walk nor talk. He attends special education classes and has learned to communicate with a specially fitted computer.

Traumatic as surgical delivery may be, the effect on family life is minor compared with the life-long responsibility of caring for a disabled child. We as midwives sometimes ignore this potential tragedy with such generalities as, “the baby is made to fit through the mother’s pelvis” (usually it does!), implying that cesarean section is an unnecessary intervention, forced upon vulnerable women in labor by controlling medical practitioners. Unfortunately, this is often true. But not always.

In Midwifery Today Issue 65 (Spring 2003), Deb Abramson writes about her cesarean for fetal distress in “More Than Just a Scar.” She describes herself as unprepared for the possibility of a necessary cesarean and unsupported in the aftermath.

“I have felt left out since my cesarean section, abandoned in a way by the natural birth proponents whose camp I so enthusiastically joined when I first found out I was pregnant. I didn’t deliver my baby in the way they celebrate, nor was I abused by the medical community in the way they condemn. There is cheerleading in the one case, finger pointing in the other. Either way, you have their full and vocal support. But I had missed both boats and gotten stranded…”

What I would like to say to Deb is that she made a parenting decision when she chose to cooperate with her surgical delivery. (I say “chose to cooperate” because, although coercive attitudes occur, to perform surgery on any person without their written consent is legally assault; that is, unless a court order has been obtained.) This early decision will be one among many that she will make for the welfare of her child, putting the child’s safety and comfort above her own. Because that’s what mothers do. This is why it is so important that mothers be able to trust their obstetrical care providers to tell the truth. When they say, “The baby is at risk,” they must really mean it. It can’t be just, “this has gone on too long and I have other things to do.”

Marion Toepke McLean
Excerpted from “Necessary Cesarean,” Midwifery Today, Issue 67
View table of contents / Order the back issue

Please support our advertisers!

Live your dream and become a Nurse-Midwife at Frontier Nursing University


Frontier Nursing University’s nurse-midwifery program is the longest-running midwifery program in the United States, was the first to offer distance education, offers one of the only ADN-MSN online bridge options and educates more certified nurse-midwives than any other program in the country. The community-based distance education program allows you to complete your coursework online and clinical work in your own community.


Featured Products

Paths to Becoming a Midwife

Thinking about becoming a midwife?

Do you know someone who is?

Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education is just what any aspiring midwife needs and would be a much appreciated gift. The fourth edition of this book includes several new articles on the various midwifery philosophies, new information on becoming an apprentice, dozens of recently updated articles, and a current directory of more than 150 schools, programs and other resources. Order the book.

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

A way to work through grief and loss

Created as a healing journal for mothers who have lost their babies, Mending Invisible Wings is filled with healing words, drawings, poems and exercises. Each exercise includes an action, an affirmation and a self-nurturance activity designed to help the mother move through her grief. There are also plenty of blank pages where she can express her grief through words or pictures. If you have recently lost a baby, or if you know someone who has, Mending Invisible Wings could be an important step in the healing process. To Order

Mending Invisible Wings

Learn more about the third stage of labor!

Third Stage e-book cover

The Third Stage of Labor e-book is packed with information about the umbilical cord, the placenta and natural approaches to this phase of birth. This collection of 15 articles from past issues of Midwifery Today magazine includes “Placenta Accreta by Marion Toepke McLean, “Cord Burning” by Kelly Dunn, “On Meconium at Home and Delayed Cord-cutting” by Naolí Vinaver, “Placenta Rituals and Folklore from Around the World” by Sarah J. Buckley and “The Problem Is Induction, Not Meconium” by Gail Hart. Buy your copy and have it with you at the next birth you attend!

Available on Amazon or on Smashwords in a variety of formats.

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 103

How can we give our children the best possible start in life?

Learn about this important topic with Secrets of Happy Babies: Nature’s Superb Design for Families, a DVD by Sarah J. Buckley, MD. Topics covered include preconception and pregnancy nutrition, cord clamping, lotus birth, breastfeeding and co-sleeping. This DVD would make a lovely gift to help an expecting family get off to a good start. And if you’re a midwife, doula, childbirth educator or other professional involved in the care of mothers, babies, fathers and families, make sure to get a copy for your library. To Order

book cover

Website Update

The table of contents for the brand new issue of Midwifery Today, Spring 2013, is available now. The theme is “Hemorrhage.” Take a look at all the articles and departments here!

Promote Your Product or Service Here

advertise in E-News

For as low as $100 per insertion for a text-plus-graphic ad, you can put your birth-related product or service in front of over 19,000 E-News subscribers from around the world. This is a great way to reach midwives, parents, childbirth educators, physicians, nurses, doulas and others interested in safe, natural birth.

Learn more here or contact our Ad Director at

Birth Q&A

Q: In that cesareans do save lives, tell us how your cesarean, though maybe not the kind of birth you may have planned, ended up being an empowering and positive birth experience. What helped to make it this way?

— Midwifery Today

A: Without my caesarean, I would never have planned a VBAC and then would never have become a doula, and then a HypnoBirthing practitioner, and then a complementary therapist, and then on to becoming a NO HANDS Massage Advanced Practitioner and offering pregnancy massage. Thankfully I found my way to accepting my cesarean and seeing the positives.

— Karen Law

A: I had a wonderful cesarean birth experience with my second baby, just four weeks ago. I had a negative cesarean experience with my first birth.

I had planned for a homebirth VBAC with my husband, midwife and doula. After laboring at home for three days and my water breaking, we went to the hospital to augment with Pitocin. I still expected a vaginal delivery at the hospital. After 12 more hours of labor, it became necessary to have a cesarean birth. Our daughter’s heart rate began to dip dangerously low as contractions got stronger.

Before the operation, my birth team and I talked to the doctor, nurse and anesthesiologist. We explained the issues with the first cesarean birth, including how the experience interfered with getting breastfeeding started.

We asked for three things: That my doula be present, along with my husband, to continue to support me while he watched the nurses care for our daughter; that the anesthesiologist use the least amount of drugs so I wouldn’t feel pain, but I could be as alert as possible to start breastfeeding; and that we start breastfeeding before any non-essential procedures were done. Amazingly, everyone was on board!

The OR nurse swaddled Jennifer and handed her to my husband as soon as she was done with the basics. He brought her to me while I was still on the table. My doula had my husband place Jennifer’s cheek to mine, so we were able to start bonding within minutes of birth.

In the recovery room, Jennifer was placed on my chest. She nursed immediately, and we had two hours of quiet time before the nurse came back in to do the rest of the usual stuff.

Even though I didn’t get my homebirth VBAC experience, I feel so blessed to have had a beautiful, peaceful and joyful cesarean birth experience.

— Almitra Buzan

A: I planned a vaginal birth of surrogate twins. My OB was on board, the parents were on board, the first baby was on board, but the second baby was not. Neither was the nurse nor the anesthesiologist. But my OB listened to me, allowed time to pass without hurrying my body, stood up for my choices when the nurse and the anesthesiologist were pushing, and when I finally said, “I think it’s time to talk about a cesarean,” he bowed his head for a moment and I could see he had wanted me to birth both of those babies vaginally as much as I had. I truly felt like he was my partner in the birth experience. I felt that he listened, that he respected and that we collaborated on what my body was telling us. And when it was time to make the call for the cesarean, I felt it was the right call and that I was part of the decision.

— Adrienne Black

A: I’m a midwife and practiced in Ontario before going on maternity leave. With each and every client that needed a cesarean I was always so grieved for them (necessary or not), but they seemed to be okay afterwards and I never understood. I came to find myself two weeks overdue, with little fluid showing on ultrasound. After 30 minutes, my little one could no longer handle the induction and I had an emergency cesarean. I grieved before going into surgery, but there are many positive things to my tale: the OB on-call that day, the anesthetist who filled in last minute who was a whiz at spinals, my midwife who was with me the entire time and received my baby once he was born, etc., etc., etc. And I now know why all my previous clients had somehow come to terms with their cesareans: because they had gotten the prize! And now I have my prize and can hope for a chance to one day experience birth in a more natural way. However, I wouldn’t exchange the cesarean for anything, because of Marcus.

— Jenna Smith

A: My first son was born by emergency c-section—he was moving so very, very slowly the evening before he was born, a full month before he was “due.” That birth taught me to trust my instincts. However, as I started looking for VBAC options, I could not shake the fears of something going wrong and so I once again chose a hospital birth with my OB who was kind and caring. When I said, “I’d like to try a VBAC,” my OB said, “Okay,” and that was the end of our conversation regarding a VBAC. Both of us just assumed that it would happen, and it did. I did my research, prepared myself and had a beautiful, empowering VBAC. This then led to my being a doula for a friend who wanted a VBAC and then to becoming an LCCE, to now being a midwife who runs a birth center in India.

— Vijaya Krishnan

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.

Magazine Matters

The “Hemorrhage” Issue

We just sent the next issue of Midwifery Today off to the printer. The theme this time is “Hemorrhage,” and by the time this edition of E-News reaches your inbox, the magazine will be on its way to subscribers near and far.

The more I work with Midwifery Today, the more I realize what a valuable resource the magazine is for all birthworkers. Whether you are, or aspire to be, a midwife, doula, childbirth educator, obstetrician, nurse or even if you are just fascinated with birth, Midwifery Today will not disappoint. With over 20 articles in every issue, there is a vast amount of knowledge to be gained. This issue features an article from Robin Lim, CNN Hero of the Year. She shares a typical day in Bali, and her story teaches appropriate and safe ways to deal with and help prevent hemorrhage, a very common danger in Indonesia mostly because of poor nutrition.

Do you have something to share? Then please, send us an article to give to the birth world. This is your magazine. It is not filled with ads as most magazines are; it is filled with the words of our subscribers and mentors. We hope you enjoy the next issue of the magazine and consider writing for us some day.

— Nancy Halseide, managing editor for Midwifery Today

Craving more birth info?
Subscribe to Midwifery Today magazine!


After 38.5 hours of exhausting on-again-off-again labor, I was getting discouraged about my HBAC. The midwife suggested a beer and 2.5 hours after that beer, I was holding my daughter. Thank God for beer and midwives!

— Meagan DePerro

Classified Advertising

Tell our readers about your business. Just $48/issue ($135 for four) gives you 35 words to promote your products or services. or

E-News Subscription Information

Remember to share this newsletter—it’s free! You may forward it to as many friends and colleagues as you wish—just be sure to follow the copyright notice.

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 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 website.

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.

© 2013 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Midwifery Today: Each One Teach One!