December 4, 2013
Volume 15, Issue 25
Midwifery Today E-News
“Holiday Births”
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online holiday coupon pageSave $5 on selected Midwifery Today books!

Take advantage of the special holiday coupon to save $5 on any one of these books: * Wisdom of the Midwives, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. II; * Birth Wisdom, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. III; * Sharing Midwifery Knowledge, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. IV; * Paths to Becoming a Midwife, Getting an Education. This is just one of the great deals on our Online Holiday Coupon Page. You’ll also find special offers from other merchants.



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Mandala birth art makes beautiful gifts!

Choose from several inspiring art prints by Amy Swagman. Each image is available as a digital print on archival, acid-free artist paper. Check them all out and be sure to buy one for yourself, too. To order

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In This Week’s Issue


Harrisburg conferenceAttend the full-day Spinning Babies Workshop with Gail Tully!

Gail will discuss how you can spot a long labor before labor begins and turn it around to a shorter labor. You’ll learn about the 3 Principles of Spinning Babies: Balance, Gravity and Movement in pregnancy and in labor. You’ll compare anterior and posterior fetal position and practice labor progress techniques appropriate to the level of descent.

Learn more about the Harrisburg conference.



Quote of the Week

Women’s bodies have their own wisdom, and a system of birth refined over 100,000 generations is not so easily overpowered.

Sarah Buckley


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Jan’s Corner

Sacred Birth

I think one of the best ways to change birth is to remember that it is sacred. The coming of a new human to a family Earth-side is sacred and holy and deserving of utmost respect. If we go into a church, we whisper in respect. We should treat birth the same way and remember that the birth room is a place that deserves our respectful actions.

Could it be that when we lost respect for birth, medicalization began unabated? Because historically, and still around the world today, so many babies and moms died during childbirth, we got accustomed to making birth an emergency situation wherein we remove the sacredness. No matter where this lack of respect and understanding of the sacredness came from, it seems the answer is to bring it back—every birth is sacred.

Let’s bring sacredness into birth and promote it around the world. Scream it from the rooftops, teach it wherever you go and make it part of midwifery and doula curricula. Let every woman and dad-to-be know that birth is sacred. Understand that when at a birth, where you are standing is holy ground. Bring true love into the birth year for every motherbaby.

We will be taking a short hiatus from E-News for the holidays. Know that you will be receiving your next E-News sometime in January. I personally love that much of the world celebrates a baby coming to a young mother in a stable at a birth with a midwife. Happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for Seinfeld fans) or whatever you celebrate. We can all celebrate midwifery and 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.

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Featured Article

Christmas Births

A couple asked if they could come to my house in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve to have their baby. This would make it easier since their children could stay home while the mom birthed at my house. I had a private room and a private bathroom, so it worked out well. This momma was in active labor when I had another call from another Amish mom in labor. I told the dad, “I can’t come—I have a couple laboring here at my house.”

He then said, “Can we come there, too, to have our baby?”

I said, “Yes, but I can’t come get you.”

“I will find a driver.”

This couple came to my home and I put them in another private bedroom. While they labored, the first couple had their baby. I got the mom and baby cleaned up, weighed and measured. Then I fed mom and dad and tucked them in for a nap. During this time another couple called in labor. (It was now late at night.) I told them, “I can’t come.”

They said, “Can we come there?”

“Yes.” Now, where will I put them? Oh yes, in the living room! They arrived and were soon tucked into a nice space in the living room. Then the second couple had their baby—all went well and I got things cleaned up, the baby weighed and measured and the family fed and tucked into bed.

Soon after, the third couple had their baby. I had everyone cleaned, measured and weighed as the sun came up. I stayed up and made a big breakfast and asked if the three couples wanted their breakfast on a tray or at the table. They all wanted to come to the table to see who else had had their baby. In the end, two of the couples were cousins and they knew the third couple from childhood, so we all ate together. I drove one couple home and then came back to get the other two couples and take them to their homes. I was finally back home around 2:00 pm, Christmas Day, totally whooped. But what a great 22 hours!

Mary Cooper


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You want to be a midwife, but where do you start?

Are you an aspiring midwife who’s looking for the right school? Or maybe you’re trying to decide if midwifery is the path for you. Visit our Better Birth Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.



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Thinking about becoming a midwife?
Know someone who is?
Beginning Midwives PackageOur Beginning Midwives’ Package was designed just for the aspiring midwife, and would make a fine gift! It includes a one-year subscription to Midwifery Today magazine magazine, the book Paths to Becoming a Midwife and the audio-CD set Beginning Midwifery. And all at a discount off the individual prices! Plus, shipping is included in the package price. To order

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.
And this year, in celebration of their 10th year of publication, they will donate $1 for every book you buy to the Sukuli Primary School fund to build a primary school in a remote Sierra Leonean village. To order and view inside pages

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The lovely Baby’s Joy Earrings would make a wonderful gift for a nursing mom.
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Give the gift of information!
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Website Update

Read this article excerpt from the Autumn 2013 issue of Midwifery Today magazine:

  • Cesarean Inter-Section by Terah R. Lara

    Excerpt: A new cesarean method has been designed by an anesthesiologist and a midwife in the UK and has been acclaimed by participants. Anesthesiologist Felicia Plaat and Jenny Smith, CNM, co-created a “natural” cesarean in which women can have greater participation in the birth of their child regardless of their surgical route of delivery.


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Birth Q&A

Q: As a midwife or doula how do you do your holiday planning when you can be called out at any moment? Do you have any tips for new practitioners entering the field?

— Midwifery Today

A: I don’t take clients during the holiday month. We have such a busy family life that taking a month off is necessary for us. There are enough doulas/midwives to balance the season.

— Brianna Jensen

A: Pray! And accept the fact that at some point you will miss a holiday. All will survive!

— Roseanne Azarow Ebert

A: Non attachment and unconditional love. Take one of the kids with you if it makes them feel better. It’s tough. Birthdays were worse than holidays for me. During holidays I would just let friends and family carry on.

— Robin Garrison

A: We all meet at my in-laws an hour away so sometimes I will drive separately in case I am called. If I am called away on a holiday, we take some extra time as a family to make up for it.

— Kimberly Sebeck

A: I was in control of the calendar when my kids were young. They never knew the difference if a birthday cake or even Christmas came a day late!

— Gail Hart


Conference Chatter

Save the Dates

We just returned from an amazing conference in Belgium. We were inspired by the great classes, teachers and registrants. It was truly a special learning time and a great time of encouragement. We have three conferences coming up for next year. We are going to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 23–27, 2014. Our plan is to then go to Australia in the fall. Our venue is in Byron Bay, Australia, on the coast in a beautiful small beach town. We even get to have a full moon on the beach! The dates are November 4–9, 2014. Register early since space is limited. Our program will be ready to view sometime in January.

When we announced these conference locations to the registrants in Belgium, our European sisters complained, “What, you aren’t coming to Europe?” So then we got thinking. Eneyda and I had already done a venue check at Culford School in Suffolk, which happens to be available May 26–30, 2014, so why not? So, with the help of Sally Kelly and our awesome conference coordinator Andrea Straw, we are coming to the UK and really looking forward to it. I hope you can join us for one of Midwifery Today’s conferences because they are good for your birth soul! We will soon have an individual web page up for Australia; watch for that on our main conference page.

— Jan Tritten

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