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Preview: Midwifery Today Online

Midwifery Today Online

The latest news for midwives, doulas, and other birth practitioners.

Published: Sun, 1 Jan 2017 01:00:00 PST

Last Build Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2017 01:00:00 PST

Copyright: Copyright (c) 2016, Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.

Birth and the Microbiome

Sun, 1 Jan 2017 01:00:00 PST


In recent years, the microbiome has been a hot topic in the world of research. Scientists are realizing the importance it plays on the lifelong health of an individual. Since the details pertaining to birth can have a drastic impact on the microbiome, either positively or negatively, we at Midwifery Today knew this issue’s topic, “Birth and the Microbiome,” would be of keen interest to our readers. Enjoy the articles within, written by some of the best in the birth field, including Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin, Sister MorningStar and internationally known herbalist Susun S. Weed.

Join us in Eugene, Oregon next April!

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 16:00:00 PST

You will learn from teachers such as Elizabeth Davis, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Anne Frye and Carol Gautschi. Planned classes include Using Rebozo in Prenatal Care, Shoulder Dystocia and Healing Trauma through Physiological Birth. Plan now to attend!
Part of our conference in Eugene, Oregon, April 2017.

A Note to Fathers: It’s You She Wants

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:00:00 PST

From the MT Archive, an article by Lois Wilson:
What is the role of the father who is present at the birth of his child? Is he a labor coach, advocate or partner? Is he a fifth wheel? A nuisance? A liability? In the twelve years that I have served birthing families in my community, I have heard many passionate opinions about the presence of fathers at birth. Over the years my own understanding of the role that fathers play in pregnancy and birth has developed to become much deeper and more complex as I have served different families, each with their own unique relationship, culture, expectations and beliefs.

Reflecting on Fiji

Mon, 7 Nov 2016 11:05:00 PST

Article by Jan Tritten: “We had an amazing conference in Fiji. The midwives there were so responsive to all they were being taught. Their loving openness was a joy for all of us to behold. Each morning began as a worship service. The midwives took an oath to basically put into practice all they learned at the conference. Here is what all agreed to do:”

Birth Is a Human Rights Issue

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 PST


Editorial by Jan Tritten: “The theme of this issue is the same as our conference in Strasbourg, France. We held our first birth rights conference in 2010 because our normal efforts didn’t seem to be effecting enough change. We thought that by taking it into the new realm of human rights, we might see greater change. We are shocked that things haven’t changed more and we feel the need to hold another conference about human rights in childbirth. We still have hope for the future. Some of this hope is based on the science about the microbiome and epigenetics that is coming forth. ”

Hands On, Hands Off: Midwifing the Inner Life of Women

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:00:00 PST


Article by Sister MorningStar: “‘Do you have any other questions or comments?’ I asked. Silje floated in her boat on the southern shore of Norway, and I paused in admiration from my cozy rural library in Missouri. I was a Skype midwife to this gorgeous woman with her rosy cheeks and new mother enthusiasm. Silje easily moved in and out of yoga poses while showing me her growing baby. Her Cocker Spaniel companion nestled in to watch us.”

Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Section

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 PST

Article by Vijaya Krishnan: “Not long ago, when a woman conceived and had a healthy pregnancy, she took it for granted that she would give birth naturally, the way nature intended. However, we have come to such a tipping point now that when women give birth naturally at our birth center, relatives and friends are surprised that she had a normal delivery.”

Core Midwifery Skills

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 PDT


Editorial by Jan Tritten: “Where do we learn the most about birth? I think we learn most from the mothers and babies on their journey. Can we separate core midwifery skills from the face-to-face meeting of the mothers and getting to know them and walking on their journey with them? Our core midwifery skills must attach directly to the kind of prenatal care we provide, our attention at births and our encouragement and care postpartum. There is no substitute for experience.”


Cytotec and the FDA

Mon, 18 Nov 2013 00:00:00 PST

Article by Ina May Gaskin: “Throughout the 1990s, many studies about both drugs were published in the obstetrical literature. Leading obstetricians, particularly in the US, were clearly interested in gaining the power to stop and start labor at will, with the stated goal of reducing or eliminating fetal deaths related to pre- or postterm labor. During this period, millions of women were given these drugs, many of them without being informed that they and their babies were subjects of experiments in new, possibly risky therapies.” This is a powerful and emotional article against Cytotec and its use in pregnant women written by one of the most inspiring women in natural childbirth, Ina May Gaskin. This is an article excerpt from Midwifery Today magazine, Autumn 2013.

Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education, edited by Jan Tritten and Kelly Moyer

Tue, 29 Jan 2013 00:00:00 PST

Review by Sunday Tortelli: “Composed of a compilation of articles, this book empowers the prospective midwife to find her own best educational path. This is not a ‘how t’ book, which may be frustrating for those who only want to learn the most direct approach to reaching their goals. Birth is about self-reflection and personal discovery. Whether a woman is birthing her baby or birthing a new phase of her life, the best way is always going to be her way.”

Female Genital Mutilation: Legal, Cultural and Medical Issues by Rosemarie Skaine

Fri, 19 Oct 2012 00:00:00 PST

Review by Cheryl K. Smith: “While painful to read in parts, the book provides a comprehensive look at a practice that has affected between 110 and 140 million women around the world.”

Photos and Archived Programs of Conferences Available

Fri, 17 Dec 2010 00:00:00 PST

Conference: The archived programs of the Midwifery Today conferences are available online. You’ll also find photos, testimonials, poetry and letters on our following scrapbook pages.

Meet Some of Our Teachers and Writers

Mon, 13 Dec 2004 00:00:00 PST

Meet some of Midwifery Today’s writers and conference teachers on our biography pages.

Safer Birth in a Barn?

Wed, 25 Aug 2010 00:00:00 PST

Article by Beth Barbeau: “She’s been in this box stall (when not out to pasture) for weeks, because she must be in a familiar environment to birth smoothly. There is her usual water and hay in the stall—never restrict their food in labor!”

Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm

Mon, 13 Dec 2004 00:00:00 PST

Article by Marsden Wagner: Cesarean section can save the life of the mother or her baby. Cesarean section can also kill a mother or her baby. How can this be?

Birth Stories: The Instinct of Birth

Mon, 16 Feb 2004 00:00:00 PST

Article by Candace Whitridge: When a woman is in labor, a little fight goes on in the woman’s brain. One part of here brain, the intellect, will tell her that she should do certain things. Perhaps those are things that we learned in childbirth classes; perhaps those are things that other people have told her that she should do to cope with birth. But from the other part of the brain will come an urge so deep within her that it will compel her to move her body and to use her voice in a completely different day. Those are her deep instincts about childbirth, but we have buried these for so long that most of us have forgotten that knowledge. Occasionally, though, I see women who remember.…

Birth Plan

Mon, 16 Feb 2004 00:00:00 PST

Article by Janine DeBaise: Here is the plan for the birth of my child. I’ve taken words from the dreams of 200 women. I’m translating them for the hospital staff. 1. No blue hospital gown. No sterile drapes. When I give birth, I want to be naked. I want my body to choose the colour of its growing. 2. No enema. No antiseptic wash. No shaving of pubic hair. If I wanted to shave something, I’d shave my head. Like Jean-Luc Picard. I’ve always wanted to be captain of a star ship. When I give birth, I explore uncharted territory, I move and writhe into new worlds. I want to go where no man has gone before.

Anthropological Perspectives on Global Issues in Midwifery

Mon, 16 Feb 2004 00:00:00 PST

Article by Robbie Davis-Floyd, PhD: A distressing cross-cultural trend is showing up in the growing body of anthropological literature about midwifery and birth in the developing world. From Tanzania to Papua New Guinea, anthropologists who observe professional midwives giving prenatal care and attending births increasingly note that, far from the midwifery ideal, professional midwives often treat women very badly during birth, ignoring their needs and requests, talking to them disrespectfully, ordering them around, and sometimes even yelling at them and slapping them. At the same time, and in direct correlation, the professional midwives are themselves often treated badly by the healthcare systems in which they work. They are almost always underpaid, are frequently mistreated by physicians who rank above them in the medical hierarchy, and generally work long hours under stressful conditions that often include inadequate facilities and equipment and too many women with too few midwives to care for them well. In short, professional midwives are often trapped in the biomedical healthcare system, a system that is failing to meet the needs of birthing women in developing countries.

A Timely Birth

Mon, 16 Feb 2004 00:00:00 PST

Article by Gail Hart: The timing of birth has major consequences for a baby. Too early or too late can mean the difference between life and death. Or so we have come to believe; and it’s undoubtedly true at the extreme ends of preterm and postterm birth dates. Although few babies are born at these extremes of the normal length of pregnancy, much of our prenatal care is based on bringing babies to birth “in a timely fashion”—neither too early nor too late. But our understanding of “timely” is clouded, and some of our methods are self-defeating. By intervening in the natural timing of birth, we sometimes exacerbate the problems or create entirely new ones.