|June 19, 2013|
Volume 15, Issue 13
|Midwifery Today E-News|
“Herbs for Labor”
|Subscribe • Print Page|
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Mark your calendars and save the date. This is your chance to learn from teachers such as Robbie Davis-Floyd (pictured), Michel Odent, Gail Hart, Gail Tully and Verena Schmid. Choose from a wide variety of classes, including Using Rebozo, Homebirth, Prenatal Care, Midwifery Practice in Hospitals, and Positions in Labor.
In This Week’s Issue
Used successfully by midwives for years to ease labor pain and reduce the need of drug intervention, herbs can also progress a stalled labor, slow bleeding, calm anxiety, provide focus and give renewed strength and nourishment.
— Kathryn Cox
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Chamomile: This is the classic calming herb. It is great for colicky babies or cranky parents. The smell alone imbues relaxation. In tea form it is soothing to the skin and makes a lovely hair rinse.
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 email@example.com.
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Power to Motherbaby
It is time to get the fetal ejection response working in all births possible. Let’s find ways to keep the power with the mother so she can say, “I did it myself,” and enjoy the amazing oxytocic birth high. Let’s find ways to encourage her strong feelings because that is so helpful for her transition into motherhood.
Herbs are important in midwifery. They are generally easier on the systems of mother and baby if the right ones are used. My concern is that anything used routinely or unnecessarily can take the mother’s power from her. Using herbs to augment, induce and even strengthen the labor are interventions and we need to be conscious of all that we do. Ask yourself, “Do I need to do this, and if so, why? Will her body do this naturally on its own? Am I just doing my routine?” We need to relearn to trust the birth process, the mother’s body and the baby’s body in their innate ability to birth.
Midwifery is a beautiful calling. The privilege and joy to be present at the coming of a new life is beyond humbling. Let’s be sure to constantly look at ourselves in order to stay worthy of this sacred trust. While doing this we always must remember that sometimes, beyond our greatest efforts, things can go wrong. This means our knowledge and skills must always be kept current, with our intuition and heart always in the “on” position.
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
Herbs for the Childbearing Year
When I wrote Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year 25 years ago, people asked me how I could be sure the herbs I wrote about were actually safe for pregnant women. After all, everyone knew that herbs are not safe to use during pregnancy. This view, that herbs and pregnancy don’t mix, is still prevalent and it is just as wrong now as it was then. Herbs are safe, and what’s more, they promote health and ease distress as effectively as and more safely than pharmaceutical remedies, before, during and after the childbearing year.
I am not proposing that all herbs are safe. With more than 10,000 plants used medicinally worldwide, there is bound to be enormous variance. Herbs are not alike in their actions or risks. While it is true that some herbs contain constituents that can injure us and some are source materials for powerful drugs, most herbs are more similar to foods than to drugs. Most herbs are safe for pregnant and lactating women when taken in appropriate forms.
For safety’s sake, we want to:
Read this editorial by Jan Tritten from the brand-new Summer 2013 of Midwifery Today:
Q: What are your favorite herbs for birth complications?
— Midwifery Today
A: Rescue Remedy! Everyone gets a few drops—mom, dad, doulas, friends and midwife.
— Angie Flanagan-Herzberger
A: Angelica to bring the placenta; witch hazel, shepherd’s purse and cayenne for hemorrhage; and Rescue Remedy for any sort of maternal stress.
— Erica Obert
A: I have used TriLight Herbs for years. I love Hem Halt and Placenta Ease. I have seen Hem Halt work more quickly than Pitocin!
— Christy Birthkeeper Fiscer
A: I use lobelia to rub baby’s back for wet lungs and tachypnea; Cotton root to increase contractions during labor and postpartum; and Beth root for a stubborn cervix. Homeopathic remedies: arnica for just about everything; aconite for fear and startled babies; antimonium for babies with tachypnea.
— Christina Lavender Holmes
A: Angelica to assist with delayed placenta birth; Echinacea and spikenard for immune support with prolonged ROM; cramp bark for afterbirth pains, especially with multips.
— Laura M. Perez
Bringing Ancient Knowledge to Conference
As I was sipping on my nettle tea this morning thinking about this edition of E-News, I was reminded of a wonderful recipe for an herbal pregnancy blend that one of our teachers shares on her website. So for this edition of Conference Chatter, I want to focus on Carol Gautschi, whose knowledge of herbal remedies is an asset at our conferences. She will be teaching at the upcoming fall conference, “Autonomous Midwifery: The Key to the Future” in Blankenberge, Belgium. She has been an integral part of many of our conferences, and we feel blessed that she shares her light and knowledge with us each time. Carol has worked as a traditional holistic midwife on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula since 1979 and is co-founder of the Washington Alliance of Responsible Midwifery (WARM) and chairs Olympic Peninsula Birth Matters.
Carol’s wonderful recipe for Herbal Pregnancy Blend can be found here on her website.
At the Belgium conference Carol will be teaching a variety of classes, including In Depth Midwifery—Hands-on Midwifery; Homebirth: Research, Safety, and How to Do It; and Birthing Woman, Sacred Ground. Carol’s are some of our most popular classes, and attending at least one of hers is a must for any attendee. To learn more about these classes and the other amazing teachers that will be with us at our October conference, please visit our Belgium conference page.
If you have any questions about this or any past or future conference, please feel free to drop me a note at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to assist you.
— Andrea Goldman
I had to transfer to the hospital for induction after my membranes had been ruptured for 48 hours with no labor in sight. During my labor, we tried to keep the mood light. My mantra through my whole labor was, “Open” as I tried to coax my cervix into opening. My husband said I sounded more like a zombie, so I decided I’d really step it up a notch. During my next contraction, I moaned, “Brainsssssss” through the entire contraction. My doula, husband and midwife could not stop laughing after that. We still talk about me being the only laboring woman on earth to pretend to be a zombie through unmedicated Pitocin contractions.
— Shandi Sitzer Turknett
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