|May 22, 2013|
Volume 15, Issue 11
|Midwifery Today E-News|
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Plan now to attend our conference in Blankenberge, Belgium, 30 October – 3 November 2013. The theme is “Autonomous Midwifery” and planned classes include Placenta Medicine, Waterbirth, Breech Birth, Shoulder Dystocia and Spinning Babies.
Plan to attend the “Natural Birth: Skills, Science and Traditions” conference June 25–29 in Moscow, Russia. You will meet amazing and informative teachers from around the world, including Sister MorningStar (pictured), Carol Gautschi, Gail Hart, Elizabeth Davis and Beverley Lawrence Beech. Planned classes include Spinning Babies Workshop, Birth Trauma and Baby Health, Mexican Traditions and Techniques, and Fear: How It Affects Labor.
In This Week’s Issue
The greatest joy is to become a mother; the second greatest is to be a midwife.
— Norwegian proverb
Do you like what you’re reading?
Lotus birth—leaving the cord intact and being patient until the cord releases—is the ideal in non-intervention and non-violence. (See Midwifery Today 58:14.) However, many families may find this psychologically burdensome. Since most modern humans shy away from just about anything as visceral as sleeping with a newborn baby still intact with cord and placenta, we have come up with a wonderful alternative to cord cutting: cord burning.
Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine often treat a new patient for “the wound of having one’s cord cut at birth.” This leads us to ask; “What are we doing cutting all these cords? Why are we wounding babies?” In old China, the cord was carefully burned. This practice moves the qi that is latent in the placenta into the baby. Indeed, we have witnessed low Apgar babies, with dusky blue complexions, pink right up as the cord is burned. According to Bobbie Aqua, DCM, “Cord burning brings the element of fire to the birth; warmth is essential for baby’s well-being and mother’s recovery to full strength and ample milk supply.”
— Robin Lim, Harvest Rowena Alcock and Kelly Dunn
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send submissions, inquiries, and responses to newsletter items to: email@example.com.
“Traditional Birth Attendant” vs. “Traditional Midwife”
I have been working with my friend and colleague Debbie Díaz Ortiz in fighting the derogatory term of traditional birth attendant (TBA) that WHO, ICM and others have given to traditional midwives. TBA is being applied to midwives all over the world who do not fit into an educational regime dictated by others. It is our hope to call a midwife a midwife rather than decide who is a midwife. Communities define these women, not our medical imperialistic ways. The following piece was written by Debbie; the full article can be found here.
During the last decades of the twentieth century, international programs were mostly directed to help midwives in isolated areas. By the year 2000, the goals set forth for the new millennium by The United Nations only promoted professional midwifery services for all, implying that the midwives from the villages (referred to as “traditional birth attendants”) were to simply accompany women, while referring them to the professionals. The midwives from isolated communities were only to work as midwives when there was not a professional to take charge.
Shortly after those changes, Latin America began to report the following: 1) more mistreatment during transports and in hospitals, 2) [fewer] supplies than previously received from governments and NGOs, 3) no personnel available to send to the communities for continuing education and other matters and 4) lack of transparency from the professional care providers. What’s more concerning is that the disconnection of midwives from their roles is not as prolific in Latin America as it is in Asia and Africa where WHO has more of a focus.
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: https://twitter.com/jantritten
Country Contact Reports
Editor’s Note: Midwifery Today is interested in promoting international networking among childbirth practitioners. Our goal is to strengthen the international community by establishing a country contact in every country of the world.
For this international edition of E-News, we asked Midwifery Today’s country contacts the following question:
Please tell us if you have been personally persecuted because of your midwifery profession. Briefly describe the legal situation in your country regarding your profession.
Indonesia has great respect for midwives. I have had the honor to speak before 7600 young midwives in 2012. So far in 2013, I have shared Gentle Birth Seminars with over 4000 young midwives and their teachers.
Midwives in our country enjoy much autonomy. However, they struggle with the regulations, including the 58 steps for how to deliver a baby, authored by Jhpiego, the corporate arm of Johns Hopkins University, USA. Midwives in Indonesia wish to follow gentle childbirth protocols, including delayed clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord and early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding. They express to me how difficult it is to practice evidence-based gentle medical protocols in the shadow of the Jhpiego publication.
The UN Millennium Development goals are not nearly going to be achieved in 2015. Governments tell departments of health, and in turn midwives, doctors and birthkeepers, to let no mother or baby die. Yet, how can the birthkeepers be responsible for the side effects of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, which claim the lives of 27 out of 1000 new babies born in Indonesia? In Indonesia, 228 mothers are lost per 100,000 live births—still one of the highest maternal death rates in Asia.
Midwives are acknowledged in Indonesia as the essential bridge that can guide women safely into motherhood.
This is neither a birth-friendly nor successful breastfeeding country. The medical model of care rules with an iron fist. Women have no say in what happens to them, and physicians are intolerant of questions. Midwives are paid by the Public Hospital’s Authority; they have neither autonomy nor independence. They work from the medical model of care and are little more than physician assistants.
The basic facts about maternity care in this Commonwealth are:
So, what does this mean?
Read this article from the current issue of Midwifery Today, Spring 2013:
Conference in Russia
Midwifery Today and Home Child magazine are presenting our third joint conference in Moscow, Russia, 25–29 June 2013. The theme this year is “Natural Birth: Skills, Science and Traditions.”
Our experiences in Russia have been more than amazing. As one who lived through the cold war, going there and seeing how warm and friendly the people are was quite a shock. It is striking how we are all fighting the same battles in birthing rooms around the world. The touch of a loving midwife and the respect a birthing woman needs are the same all over the world. Our battle is real and it is worthy of our efforts.
We have many excellent teachers from the US, England, Mexico, Norway and, of course, Russia, speaking at this conference. At our last Russian conference, there were some registrants who came to the forefront through sharing their skills, and who now are scheduled as presenters at this year’s conference. You will meet Julia Shelepina, a traditional midwife whose knowledge made us say, “She has to teach!” Last time in Russia, in between classes she was always on the floor showing all sorts of techniques and helping the women who were present. As with Mexican midwife Angelina Martinez Miranda, her hands-on knowledge will be a joy to learn from. You will meet many other great Russian presenters and learn firsthand of the joys and frustrations of making birth change in Russia. Here is the link to the information about classes and teachers.
— Jan Tritten
About 12 hours into the birth of my second child, there were no indications of an impending delivery—I just knew I was in for a very long night. I got out of the tub for a bathroom break, but as soon as I stood up, the contractions came on like a 100-car pile-up, and my body started pushing. I couldn’t believe my midwife when she said I needed to get off that toilet or else my daughter would be born in it. She came out fast with red hair and in the caul, and those were very nice surprises.
— Kristin Howard O’Malley
Get the whole story!
NEW BOOK! Many Paths, One Journey: Becoming a Certified Professional Midwife. Combines current information, personal stories and perspectives from midwives and students, giving you the knowledge needed to begin your CPM journey. Exclusive through Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMYC6LI
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