Midwifery Today, Issue 108, Winter 2013
Theme: The Umbilical Cord

Issue 108: The Umbilical Cord

Cover photo by Emily Robinson

After a birth, many midwives, doulas, mothers, fathers and even children become scientists as they explore the placenta and umbilical cord, marveling at the twists, colors and texture of what was the baby’s lifeline for nine months (or more!). How wonderful it is to take the time to explore these things and give thanks for the marvelous way in which new life grows and develops. This issue specifically honors the umbilical cord with articles from Michel Odent, Patricia Edmonds, Susun Weed, Sister MorningStar and others. Enjoy!


Poetry: The Clever Cord, the Wise Woman and the Beautiful Baby
Lina Duncan
From the Editor: Umbilical Cord Mementos
Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief, Jan Tritten, invited her cousin to give a tutorial on creating an umbilical cord memento.
Marion’s Message: The Umbilical Cord with Single Sac Twins
Marion Toepke McLean
Midwife Marion shares some interesting birth stories involving the umbilical cord.
More departments:
Tricks of the Trade, Media Reviews, Classified Advertising, Photo Album, Cards & Letters


Optimal Cord Clamping
Mary Esther Malloy
A wonderful article highlighting the importance of caring for the umbilical cord at the proper time.
Cord Cutting in the Framework of Neonatal Beliefs and Rituals
Michel Odent
Natural childbirth advocate and French obstetrician Michel Odent sheds light on the history of cord cutting while interpreting the contradiction of routine interference and current scientific research.
The First Mother
Sister MorningStar
A beautifully written article about the placenta and umbilical cord, also known as the baby’s “first mother.”
What If Anything Were Possible? Traumatic Birth as Fertile Ground for Growth
Keren Fridman Gadassi
Author and therapist Keren Fridman Gadassi shares how she helps women work through traumatic birth experiences.
I Am the Umbilical Cord
Susun S. Weed
A wonderful short poetic piece written from the perspective of the umbilical cord
The Navel String
Patricia Edmonds
Midwife Patricia Edmonds successfully details the umbilical cord’s many characteristics and possibilities.
Birth and Rebirth: A Jordanian-American Experience
Suzanne Dwaik
A birth story that captures the intensity and inner struggle a mother went through to bring her child into the world in the best way possible under not-so-ideal circumstances.
Judy Slome Cohain
“Research shows that artificially rupturing the amniotic sac (amniotomy) can cause umbilical cord prolapse.”
Umbilical Cord Traditions in Puerto Rico
Gina Dacosta Rivera
Midwife Gina Dacosta Rivera shares her country’s traditions and beliefs surrounding the umbilical cord.
In Pursuit of the Benefits of Physiological Birth
Dr. Amali Lokugamage
“This article discusses the physical, emotional and societal benefits of physiological birth.”
When a Midwife Becomes a Doula
Ireena Keeslar
An emotional story sharing the birth of twins who were not compatible with life and how a midwife transferred to the role of a doula as specialists took over with the medical care.
Diana Paul
Diana Paul shares about the birth revolution movement that was begun at a recent Midwifery Today conference.
“It’s a Breech!”
Mo Tabib
A midwife shares the breech birth story of one of her clients who chose to try for a vaginal breech delivery.
Herbal Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage
Erika Obert
Midwife Erika Obert provides information on using herbs in the third stage of labor.
Preserving Normalcy: An Interview with Dr. Bootstaylor
Cindy Morrow
Dr. Bootstaylor, an Ob/Gyn from Atlanta and a homebirth advocate, shares his experiences and insights in an interview with author Cindy Morrow.
“Don’t Go to Her—She’s a Medwife”
Louana George
“How should we respond when we see/read/hear something that is designed to wrong us individually or to wrong someone else in the community of women’s health care providers?”
My Future: Midwifery
Caitlin Soileau
A homeschool graduate from a small town in Louisiana shares her big midwifery dreams for the future.
Gestational Diabetes: Real Risks beyond the Controversy
Crystal Ogle
All opinions aside, author Crystal Ogle tries to get to facts about gestational diabetes and what midwives can do to educate their clients
Patricia Edmonds
A wonderful article about the umbilical cord and reasons why it should not be cut prematurely.
Growing American Midwifery: The Certified Midwife Credential
Cindy L. Farley, Tanya Tringali and Sara O’Connor
“If the American health care enterprise woke up tomorrow and embraced midwifery for normal childbearing and women’s primary health care, there would be insufficient numbers of qualified midwife providers to meet the needs of women and their families.”