Midwifery Today, Issue 88, Winter 2008

Issue 88: Women's Experience of Pregnancy and Birth
Theme: Women's Experience of Pregnancy and Birth
Cover photo by Cassie Fox
Cassie Fox Photography

The theme of Midwifery Today Issue 88 is Women’s Experience of Pregnancy and Birth. This issue includes tips for homebirth, articles about the physical impact of cesareans on women, and a variety of stories by women about their experiences.


Poetry: Motherhood
Diane Klammer
From the Editor: Mollie and Mary
Jan Tritten
Jan tells two amazing midwives serving the Amish and Mennonite communities.
Tricks of the Trade
Marion’s Message: International Midwife Assistance
Marion Toepke McLean
Marion shares her experiences volunteering and teaching in Afghanistan.
Media Reviews
Classified Advertising
Photo Album


Pam Udy
Sometimes family and friends don’t want to hear about the difficulties that new mothers have to deal with after a cesarean, instead saying, “At least you have a healthy baby.” Pamela Udy, President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), addresses the physical impact that cesarean surgery can have on women. In the next issue, she will address the emotional impact.
A Midwife’s Gift: Olivia’s Birth Story
Laura Thompson Shive
A midwife helps to guide a third-time mom through her home VBAC.
Gloria Lemay
As more women turn to homebirth they need to know what to ask potential providers before becoming a client. The tips from midwifery activist Gloria Lemay can be used by midwives to compare to their practices, and by pregnant moms to guide their choice in or assess the care provided by a midwife.
The Absence of Fear
Jasmine Rae Ojala
Not dwelling on fear created by her previous c-section, the author shares her confidence in birthing her second child at home.
Non-interventive Pelvimetry
Betty Peckman
This excerpt from Christian Midwifery provides a way to assess the pelvises of pregnant women without the intervention of ultrasound or other interventions by measuring the pelvis and categorizing it by type. From the 1950s and 1960s, it provides a more palatable option for women and midwives who want to avoid unnecessary intervention.
Determining Relational Needs in Challenging Clients
Maryl Smith
Midwives sometimes have to deal with emotionally challenging clients. This article identifies some of the personality characteristics that may lead to problems and how to deal with them.
Mother’s Experience
Elizabeth Beachy
Birth rarely goes according to expectations and that was the case with this breech baby.
Father’s Experience
Erwin Beachy
A breech homebirth from a father’s perspective.
Mars Attacks
Judy Slome Cohain
A light-hearted yet serious look at medical interventions in birth.
Blue Bradley
Are plastics dangerous for pregnant women and infants? This timely article looks at the research and clarifies the concerns.
The Birth of Sage
Analeah Lovere
This story tells of how a whole family celebrates a homebirth.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Jennifer Vanderlaan
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) afflicts a huge number of people, affecting more women than men. The author shares her experiences supporting a pregnant woman with GAD, and what worked during the perinatal period.
Aidan’s Birth
Robin Barbier
We tend to think of pregnancy as a happy time, but that overlooks the fact that many pregnancies end before term. Read this story of one woman’s experience with pregnancy loss.
Midwifery Today Staff Birth Stories
Some Midwifery Today staff share their experiences of birth through short stories and pictures.
Photo Essay
This beautiful photo essay highlights the work of photographer and midwife Hariette Hartigan, and her new book Brought to Earth by Birth.
Postdate Protocols for Homebirth
Paula M. Hostler
Pregnancies that go beyond 42 weeks can cause concern for moms-to-be and midwives. This article proposes protocols for adjusting due dates and otherwise dealing with postdate pregnancies.
A Surprise Posterior Brow Birth
Ann Naffziger
A birth story about the challenges of birth and post-birth repercussions, with a baby in posterior position with a brow presentation.
Placenta Medicine: My Story
Tiffany Rosebrock
This mother became a believer in placenta medicine after using encapsulated placenta to prevent postpartum depression and assist in successful breastfeeding.
Healthy Transitions: Pregnancy to Motherhood with Homeopathic Medicine
Piper Martin
Classical homeopath Piper Martin writes about the use of homeopathic remedies for pre- and post-pregnancy care.
From the Homefront to the Frontlines
Ashley Booth Young
A labor and delivery nurse and aspiring CNM gets a different perspective as a support person at her sister’s empowering homebirth.
Diana Janopaul
Every calling to midwifery is different. This essay describes the author’s transformation to the profession she likes best of all.
Nicholas Antonio
Ruth Stearns Pass
A midwife and a doula help the author have the birth she desires, in the hospital, in this birth story.

International Midwife

Cards & Letters
My Birthing Experience: Inti Imani Albarracin-Miranda
Vivienne Miranda
A successful homebirth in Puerto Rico takes an unexpected turn.
Jayne Heron and Cassy McNamara
This lighthearted comparison between chicken farming and birth ways elucidates the situation in the UK.
Guatemala: Simple and Relevant
From the Bulletin of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Humanization of Childbirth. In both English and Spanish, this article describes their work with midwives in several Guatemalan villages.
Remembrance for Nobody
Michele Klein
Michele notes that, among Jews, there is no formal recognition for the death of a baby in the womb, and asks that we “open our hearts to the silent mourners who have no memorial or grave to stand by.”
Midwifery: A Filipina Experience
Kate Prendergast
Don’t miss this great interview with a Filipina midwife and teacher, which covers her perspective on birth and midwifery.