Midwifery Today, Issue 80, Winter 2006

Issue 80: Meconium
Theme: Meconium
Cover photo by Alicia Elliott

Meconium is the name given to a baby’s first bowel movement. Normally not a problem, at times when a baby passes meconium prior to or during birth, problems can occur. In this issue of Midwifery Today birth professionals address their approaches to this issue and share stories in which meconium-stained amniotic fluid played a part. This issue also marks the beginning of a new series on bullying, and continues our business and marketing features, as well as containing a fascinating article questioning a relationship between ultrasound and autism and much more!


From the Editor: Here We Go Again
Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten’s response and the responses of three other birth professionals about The Lancet’s series of papers on solutions to maternal mortality internationally.
Tricks of the Trade
Colleen Bak
The message in this article in our Phase II series is respect for the motherbaby dyad and embracing the unknowns of birth.
Marion’s Message: Cesarean on Maternal Request
Marion Toepke McLean
Marion critiques the outcome of the NIH’s recent conference on “Cesarean on Maternal Request.”
Media Reviews
Classified Advertising
Photo Album


Should Midwives Re-invent the Amnioscope?
Michel Odent
How use of amnioscopy, an inexpensive and simple technique, can be used to evaluate condition of the amniotic fluid prior to and during labor.
Faith’s Birth—An Amazing Blessing
Christa Bartley
The story of hospital birth, done her way.
The Problem Is Induction, Not Meconium
Gail Hart
The author discusses the issue of meconium and the link between meconium aspiration syndrome and induction of labor.
Caroline Rodgers
A groundbreaking article that examines the literature on prenatal ultrasound and questions whether it may be a factor in the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism and other birth defects.
On Meconium at Home and Delayed Cord-cutting
Naolí Vinaver
This homebirth midwife shares her experience in successfully handling babies who pass meconium prior to birth.
Marinah Valenzuela Farrell
Learn more about bullying, a problem that has been identified within the profession of midwifery.
The Life of My Body
Corbin Lewars
Having babies had a positive effect on the author’s relationship with her body.
The Color of Goldenrod
Janice Marsh-Prelesnik
An unusual story about a baby who passed meconium long before birth.
Jennifer Jamison Griebenow
Some women who suffer the symptoms of postpartum depression may actually be experiencing PTSD. This article describes PTSD and makes suggestions for dealing with it during and after pregnancy.
Mothers and Long Dysfunctional Labors
Judy Slome Cohain
Frequent MT writer Judy Slome Cohain provides some personal insights about relationships with mothers and long, dysfunctional labors.
Birth Herbs and Homeopathics: Stats and Stories
Diane Gregg
Excerpted from Amazing Birth Stories, midwife Diane shares her experience with various homeopathics and herbs for birth.
How to Get Free Publicity
Sheri Menelli
This second in our series on marketing provides information on how to write a press release.
The Development of Birth Stories in an American Culture
Patricia M. Couch
Women get their ideas about what to expect from birth from the stories told by those who have gone before them. As more negative stories are told, more women expect and have traumatic births. The author discusses ways to change this.
The Business of Midwifery: Questions for the Insurer
Linda Lieberman
Midwives who plan to request reimbursement from an insurance company need to know what is covered. Linda shares her “Questions for the Insurer” form, so that clients know what questions to ask and can arrive at a common understanding with the midwife.

International Midwife

Cards & Letters
Kris Holloway-Bidwell
This article is an excerpt from the book Monique and the Mango Rains, which was reviewed in the last issue of MT. It tells the story of a difficult birth in Mali, Africa.
Debbie A. Díaz Ortiz
Debbie writes about why traditional midwives should not be left out of WHO’s definition of midwife.
Debbie A. Díaz Ortiz
The Spanish version of “We Are All Midwives.”
Conscious Motherhood
Preeti Agrawal
The author tells of how her personal experience with birth in Poland influenced the course of her work as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
From Midwife to Peace Corps Volunteer: A Baby Boomer’s Journey in Honduras
Deborah Drew
Considering the Peace Corps or just wanting to make a difference in birth in Central America? Read this article on one woman’s experience.
Flower Healing: The Story of a Pakistani Midwife
Sharon Craig
An inspiring story of a community-based midwife who is making a difference in a country where maternal and infant mortality are extremely high.
Placenta Rituals and Folklore from around the World
Sarah J. Buckley
The newborn baby’s placenta is the focus of a variety of rituals throughout the world, which Sarah shares with us.
Iye Sowodie’s “Gladdie, Gladdie” Day: Mercy Ships treats women made incontinent by birth injuries
Mike Osborne
Vesico-vaginal fistulas (VVF) are a common result of birth in sub-Saharan African countries. Learn about how the charity Mercy Ships is working in Sierra Leone to repair these birth injuries, allowing the women to return to normal lives.