|September 25, 2013|
Volume 15, Issue 20
|Midwifery Today E-News|
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In This Week’s Issue
“Birth Rights in the European Union: Mobilizing Change” — This summit will explore the intersection of law and midwifery from a human rights perspective. HRiC will convene consumers, birth professionals, and lawyers, from countries across Europe, who are engaged in lawsuits that evoke the 2010 case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. Conference participants will work toward the creation of a road map for political action capable of making human rights a reality for birthing women everywhere. This seminar is co-sponsored by Midwifery Today and Human Rights in Childbirth (HRiC) and follows the Midwifery Today conference in Belgium 30 October – 3 November, 2013. Learn more here.
Plan now to attend our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 23–27, 2014. Planned teachers include Gail Hart (pictured), Robbie Davis-Floyd, Carol Gautschi, Sister MorningStar, Gail Tully, Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Diane Goslin.
Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
— Helen Keller
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Clary sage is a very special plant essence that many women have found indispensable as it tempers their hormonal balance which tends to run unchecked during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. During labor it can be applied with a gently warmed cloth to the area just above the pubic hair; scores of women have remarked that they neither wanted nor needed any pain medication thereafter.
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.
E-books for At-hand Information
Midwifery Today is blessed to have a great staff. Nancy Halseide, our editor, has helped us turn articles from past issues into e-books. Our e-book topics are compelling and relevant to any midwife, doula or childbirth educator. A few of our titles are Second Stage: The Pushing Phase of Labor, The Third Stage of Labor, Birth Stories, Waterbirth, Birth Wisdom from Michel Odent and the recently-added Shoulder Dystocia. By the time you receive this E-News, our newest e-book, Doulas, will be available for purchase!
We also offer the clinical handbook series—small print handbooks that we have designed so they can easily fit into your birth bag.
Our print books are very useful, yet you can carry a whole series of e-books on your mobile device and have it with you at births right where you often need resources right at hand. The clinical series print books are different from the e-books, so please invest in both. This gives you excellent resources that are well-organized around the subjects you need most!
Midwifery Today e-books are available on Amazon and Smashwords. You can also search for “Midwifery Today” in the Amazon Kindle store or on your Kindle or Kindle app. Get your free Kindle app for your computer, iPad or phone so you are able to read our books on whatever device you carry. Times they are a-changin’ and there are many ways to get important midwifery and birth information you need to be a well-informed practitioner. Midwifery Today’s goal is to keep you informed about one of your favorite subjects—birth!
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
Labor Encouragement with Essential Oils
Many midwives are familiar with herbs that encourage labor, such as blue and black cohosh. Not many midwives, however, know that essential oils are estimated to be up to 70 times more powerful than herbs. According to Dr. David Hill, a world-renowned essential oil expert, “Essential oils are powerful medicinal agents. Their chemical profile is diverse and concentrated, making them many times more potent, more biologically active, than other forms of plant medicine” (Hill, personal communication). Some essential oils enhance uterine action and can be used to encourage labor contractions. These same oils can be used to accelerate labor once it is established. Surprisingly, some of these oils also induce a sedative effect, producing stronger contractions while decreasing the perception of pain. (Care should be taken not to use these oils near pregnant women who are not yet full term, as they could theoretically initiate preterm labor. They should not be opened or diffused in your office if you will also be seeing other pregnant clients the same day.)
Lavender is popular amongst many midwives and doulas because of its varied uses in labor. It calms the entire birth team, lowers tensions and blood pressure and facilitates labor’s energy flow. Lavender oil contains a small amount of the ketone camphor, which can be emmenagogic, so some authorities recommend it be used with caution in early pregnancy. However, because it is a weak emmenagogue, it is unlikely to initiate uterine contractions in a healthy pregnancy. Many authorities see no reason to place restrictions on its use in pregnancy (Tiran 2000). When attempting to encourage contractions, consider the following essential oils that encourage uterine contractions: clary sage, jasmine, Solace™ and Whisper™ (doTERRA® blends).
Read this article excerpt from a recent issue of Midwifery Today magazine, now on our website:
Q: For moms, was aromatherapy helpful to you in labor? For doulas and midwives, what are your thoughts on aromatherapy for pregnancy and labor?
— Midwifery Today
A: I used lavender, frankincense and clary sage for my own birth last December. The relief the frankincense brought was amazing. I remember my boyfriend dropping some in the pool. I inhaled deeply and felt truly like I was in a den. I need a small, dark space when I’m in labor. It was mid-morning and the sun was streaming in the window of our small spare bedroom. After the frankincense, I went within myself and the room felt much darker. I focused all my energy on my son instead of my pain. He was born within minutes. I use it with my clients at every birth and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.
I used lavender even in early labor with my third birth (I had a lot of tension and anxiety over previous births) and it helped me relax and let go. Clary sage…ah…it smells like birth. It brings clarity of mind in addition to helping increase/regulate contractions.
My doula bag is minimal. I don’t bring a lot of bells and whistles. What I do bring is my essential oils and some sunflower oil to use as a carrier oil (locally sourced and organic).
— Chelsie Towns
A: I was very sensitive to smells during my labor (as most women are) and I really enjoyed having lavender and eucalyptus oil. During labor I also feel comforted by familiar things; I wanted only music that I had heard many times (in my case it was a “Dead Can Dance” album) and as lavender and eucalyptus are oils that I regularly use, some part of my brain associates them with safety and comfort.
— Jenna Simons
A: I think aromatherapy has many benefits! I carry a few common oils for labor as a doula and when I’m apprenticing as a midwife; they come in extremely handy for organizing a labor pattern, relieving back labor, relaxing a mama, livening up a sleepy room, etc. Of course it’s always wise to check for sensitivities in the mom and care providers before labor or at least prior to using anything. The oils smell so much better than a lot of birth smells and hospital smells! Does anyone enjoy the hospital soap smell? I know I don’t!
— Angela Lowell
A: For a slowing labour, burning clary sage oil is fantastic for improving the effectiveness of the contractions.
— Melissa Jacobs
A: I find using clary sage on clients’ ankles, as they approach active labor really helps kick things in motion. Additionally I use myrrh as a mom approaches second stage, and things seem to go quite smoothly. Of course this isn’t with every client, just those who are open to using the oils and also when it just feels right. Frankincense also works well during the end of labor.
— Yvonne Alexander Novak
Greetings, everyone! I hope this fall is going splendidly for all of you so far. This week I thought I would open up the floor, so to speak, and ask for your feedback on our conferences. At the end of every conference we pass out paper forms in which you all so graciously write down your feelings and experiences—we read them all and take every comment to heart. If you have any other feedback that never made it onto our paper forms, I encourage you to send them to me now at firstname.lastname@example.org. We try our best to take your feedback and use it to improve our conferences. One such improvement we’ve added to our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference in April 2014 is to have more after-hours networking events. We’ve added on a Friday night dinner to the program, in addition to our Saturday cabaret show. We hope you enjoy this latest addition, and thank you for suggesting it!
Both our October conference in Blankenberge, Belgium, and our conference next April in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will include an amazing class called “Comfort Techniques for Midwives and Doulas” taught by Debra Pascali-Bonaro. In it you can learn a variety of techniques for soothing women in labor, including aromatherapy techniques. Other topics, such as positions for facilitating rotation and second stage positions, will be taught in this class as well. We hope you can join us at either or both conferences for this very special class.
To learn more about this class and the other classes that will be at our upcoming conferences, please visit our website.
— Andrea Goldman, conference coordinator
My midwife told my hubby to fill the birth tub, so he and my friend rushed from my side to go start filling the tub. Suddenly I heard a loud splash, some screams and then my friend came running into the room covered in water telling me that my whole living room, including the ceiling, had been soaked!
— Sarah Cochran
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