January 1, 2014
Volume 16, Issue 1
Midwifery Today E-News
“Homebirth”
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This book by Sister MorningStar will show you how healing words and empowering stories help women listen to their instincts during childbirth. Filled with inspiring, moving stories, The Power of Women is a wonderful gift for any pregnant woman. 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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Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies showcases homebirths in Guatemala, Costa Rica, France, the USA and Bermuda. Filmed between 1994 and 2010, this DVD’s powerful images of mothers and babies can inspire a woman to learn to embrace birth as a joyful experience. It definitely belongs on any birth professional’s media shelf. To order

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In This Week’s Issue


Harrisburg conferenceStart your journey into midwifery!

Attend the full-day Beginning Midwifery class at our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 2014. Carol Gautschi (pictured), Sister MorningStar, Heidi Yanello and Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos will share their wisdom and love of midwifery in a way that will nurture your interest and make you feel welcomed to the world of birth. Topics covered include Prenatal Care for Well-being, Normal Labor Care, Anatomy of a Home Birth Bag and Emotional Issues in Pregnancy, Labor and Birth. This class will also help you decide if midwifery is the profession for you.

Learn more about the Harrisburg conference.



Midwifery Today is coming to the UK!

“Midwives Hold the Future” is the theme of the conference which will be held at Bury St. Edmunds, UK, 26–30 May 2014. Planned teachers include Beverley Lawrence Beech, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Betty-Anne Daviss, Gail Hart, Sally Kelly, Michel Odent and Sara Wickham. Plan now to attend!

Learn more about the Bury St. Edmunds, UK, conference.



Quote of the Week

If you want to save the world, save midwifery!

Katerina Perkhova


Do you like what you’re reading? You’ll get even more content when you subscribe to our quarterly print magazine, Midwifery Today. Subscribe here.


The Art of Midwifery

Empowering women to birth naturally is the midwife’s most important job. One of the most powerful tools we can use to get the job does is the spoken word. What we say to the pregnant women we attend helps them shape their birth experience. Positive affirmations and an upbeat attitude help make the impending birth joyous and achievable.

Linda McHale and Barbara Noble Schelling, excerpted from “The Spoken Word,” 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 mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.


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Jan’s Corner

Homebirth

I love to remember the homebirths of two of my children. These experiences came after having a difficult rip-off hospital birth with my first child. My homebirths are the essence of why I do what I do with Midwifery Today. After my first homebirth, I knew that I wanted and needed to spend my life helping every mother I could have a homebirth. I have dedicated my life to midwifery and homebirth since my baby was born at home in September 1976. I have had great mentors and helpers along the way. Marion Toepke McLean has been my beautiful main mentor (and she has written faithfully for Midwifery Today since the first issue). Before starting the magazine, I enjoyed a homebirth practice and Marion taught me along the way and even helped me get my practice started. Mine has been an amazing journey—one I hope many others will make, both as mothers and as midwives.

Homebirth is the gold standard of care when done right. As midwives, we need to be sure to facilitate birth that puts the motherbaby in the center, not the midwife or doula. Many of us have gotten discouraged about how birth politics have been going, but if we get back to the essence of homebirth, we can have beautiful births and better politics. The thing we need to remember is that every midwife, doula and childbirth educator has more in common with us than most everyone else in the world. Our concern is for great births for families. Science is now backing up what we have known for ages: birthing at home, where babies get their mom’s germs rather than the hospital’s, protects the baby in ways we have never understood before now. I do believe God knew what He was doing when He thought up this interesting way for people to come planetside! It is nothing short of a miracle.

— 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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Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing


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The Witch's Get book cover

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A story of birth, herbs and the healing power of love. Available online in both print and ebook at Amazon and BarnesandNoble. Signed copies available through SquareUp.



Featured Article

Help; I’m a Guy! Homebirth from a Man’s Point of View

Thirteen years ago my wife and I were blessed with a perfect home waterbirth. During the early months leading up to the birth, I would have been the last one to predict that our son would be born by candlelight in our backyard horse trough on a warm night in September as I enjoyed an ice cold Corona while sitting just outside the “birth tub.” Now that’s the way to do it!

At the beginning of Teresa’s pregnancy when she said she wanted a homebirth, I had to be convinced. This is a father’s story about how I became convinced and about some of the serious (but silly) concerns that can preoccupy a typical male’s mind while the female is having a giant estrogen jam-session of birthing. In other words, “Help, I’m a guy!”

Once we found out Teresa was pregnant, she made a great case for a homebirth. She armed herself with facts that I couldn’t refute. Actually, I had no passion for even trying to refute them because I’ve always had a healthy (no pun intended) skepticism about hospitals anyway. Guys will usually concede to a woman’s point-of-view if they can just see the sense of it. But what was my mother going to say about all this? It was important to me that Mom didn’t think my wife and I were nuts. It helped our case that both Mom and Dad were homebirth babies born in the 1910s, but it was mostly Teresa’s knowledge and confidence that convinced them we knew what we were doing and that their first and only grandchild would be born safely.

Affording a midwife was never going to be a problem, but I did have two reasonable concerns. The first was that we were failing to take advantage of a health care system that we were paying for—one that could serve us well in an emergency. The midwife reminded me our house was exactly three minutes from the hospital, and we had enough time to make use of it and get there if an emergency occurred. Without that reassurance of an emergency plan and a hospital, I would have been far more reluctant and worried.

The second issue was a bigger one for me personally, and it involved cords around the neck. I have a bit of a phobia about neckwear, hoodies, men’s ties and any number of things that can choke someone to death. Our midwife noticed that while I was trying to articulate this fear, I was getting worked up. “Look,” she reassured me with a tremendous sense of confidence, “Your baby is going to be fine and you’re going to have a safe, wonderful birth.” I knew that nobody could make such a guarantee, but I believed her anyway. It was really the one thing I had wanted to hear from someone all along. Once she said it out loud, I was totally on board. I stopped being worried.

Ken Magri
Excerpted from “Help; I’m a Guy! Homebirth from a Man’s Point of View,” Midwifery Today, Issue 104
View table of contents / Order the back issue


Please support our advertisers!
The Midwife Plan — Southern Cross Insurance Solutions
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Featured Products

See what it’s like to give birth naturally.
Birth of a Family DVDWhen you watch the Birth of a Family DVD you’ll see the relaxed, joyous births of Christina and Nielsen van Duijn’s four children. This family shares these intimate moments so that others could be inspired by their experiences. Birth of a Family will help women learn about their choices and options so that they may experience a healthy joyous journey through pregnancy into birth and motherhood. 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. To order and view inside pages

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 107

Learn about rebozo massage!

The Rebozo Technique Unfolded features detailed instructions for 10 techniques you can use during pregnancy and childbirth, including a way to use the rebozo with a birth ball. You’ll also learn a bit about the history of the rebozo, what kind of cloth makes a good one and how to take care of yours. The techniques are illustrated with black and white line drawings and the spiral bound format makes it easy to keep the book open to a particular page. If you’ve ever wanted to try a rebozo, but didn’t know where to start, this is the book for you! To Order

book cover

Birth Wisdom from Michel Odent
Birth Wisdom from Michel Odent e-book cover

This e-book is a collection of 24 articles by French obstetrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent. Dr. Odent has been influencing the history of childbirth and health research for several decades and is familiarly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concept of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms. When you buy this e-book, you’ll be able to read articles such as When Love Hormones Become Useless, Dispelling Disempowering Birth Vocabulary, and Childbirth from a Bacteriological Perspective.

Get your copy on Amazon to read on your Kindle or free Kindle app here. Also on Smashwords here.


Midwifery Today Back Issues have the information you need!

Midwifery Today back issuesFrom second stage and prematurity to birth change and natural remedies, back issues of Midwifery Today print magazine are packed with informative articles that will help you improve your practice. You’ll also find inspiring birth stories, birth news, poetry and stunning black and white photography. Choose from these available back issues.



Website Update

Read this editorial by Jan Tritten from the newest issue of Midwifery Today, Winter 2013:

  • Umbilical Cord Mementos

    Excerpt: We midwives and doulas are an odd and interesting lot. We love umbilical cords. There is usually so much going on at a birth that we don’t think a lot about them in general, but when we get to talking on the subject of umbilical cords, we love it! It is through the cord that baby is nourished and waste is taken away—amazing.


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Birth Q&A

Q: Many people describe their homebirth as a truly wondrous and life-empowering experience. Was this the case for you? In what ways did your homebirth(s) change you?

— Midwifery Today

A: My homebirths made me appreciate myself more in so many ways. They made me the woman and midwife I am today.

— Deborah Neiger

A: My homebirth taught be how beautifully made our bodies are. It showed me that I can birth. It truly helped me to see and believe in the natural process of birth and helped strengthen my faith through seeing the beautiful work of our Creator. It also brought me and my husband closer together.

— Rosemarie Gonzalez

A: Homebirth changed my life from being a professional dancer to a childbirth educator to a postpartum support group leader to a midwife assistant to a midwife. Never, never, never would I have predicted that I would leave performance for midwifery. My homebirth was just WOW!

— Louana George

A: My first homebirth left me feeling so empowered and amazed at what my body could do. It definitely set the stage for me feeling like I could handle anything that parenting would throw my way. My second homebirth was also great, but not as earth-shattering as the first. My last ended up as an accidental unattended childbirth (precipitous birth) which helped cement the intimacy between me and my husband, as well as with our daughter. It was a great way to round out the birthing part of my parenting journey

— Tania Tarn Archbold

A: I didn’t find it earth-shattering, mind-blowing or empowering (nor disempowering), but it did confirm for me that birthing at home is an entirely reasonable and doable thing to be encouraged even though it is not offered and supported enough. I’d like it to be seen as normal to birth at home. I actively promote and support its normality for well women and babes.

— Liss Good

A: I am the midwife I am today because of those who served me in birth!

— Patricia Edmonds

A: Both of my births were at home: 1979 and 1990. They are why I became a midwife, so they changed my life.

— Sherri Holley


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Start or continue your 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.



Conference Chatter

I am happily knee-deep in planning the conference programs. I really enjoy this work because I get to communicate with all the great teachers who will be at the upcoming conference. Our conference planning process first includes a venue check to find a place to house the conference. Then we come up with a theme, trying to take in the needs of the community and the world. (Our themes tend to follow certain ideas, particularly over-medicalization, the need for midwifery skills and birth as a human rights issue—these themes come up no matter where in the world we hold a conference.) After we find a theme, we decide on speakers. Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos is my co-conference planner and many other people are involved in helping us. I usually ask speakers to choose topics they are passionate about to teach on—their passion adds so much to their talks.

Midwifery Today is very careful about the speakers we bring because we want to make sure the registrants are getting good information. We are extremely blessed by all the amazing people who are willing to teach, especially at our international conferences where they teach for free since the cost to hold a conference out-of-country is so high.

We hope you will be able to join us at conference some time.

— Jan Tritten

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