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Midwifery Today Issue Number 81 (Spring 2007) Primal Health
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Theme: Primal Health

The focus of this issue is Primal Health. The Primal Period is the time between conception and the end of the first year after birth. An event occurring during that time-whether it be drug exposure, death of a parent, or a stressful birth-can have irreversible effects on the health of an individual for the rest of his or her life. The state of health at the end of this period is called Primal Health.

Articles in this issue include:

  • Editorial: We Can Improve Primal Health, by Jan Tritten. Midwifery Today's Editor-in-Chief argues that much of primal health depends on non interference in birth and suggests that we need to focus on providing good midwifery care, putting motherbaby first and working to change birth for the better.
  • Midwifery Model of Care-Phase II: Networks in the Birth Community, by Kathleen Furin. The author points out that midwives need to work on developing professional networks for a variety of reasons. These include the consolidation of power, the healing they provide, and development of trust.
  • Primal Health: History of a Concept, by Michel Odent. Contributing Editor Michel Odent describes the genesis of the concept of primal health, defining the terminology and discussing resources to learn more.
  • Antisocial Behaviours from a Primal Health Research Perspective, by Michel Odent. Reprinted from Volume 13, Number 4, of Primal Health Research, this article discusses a variety of studies that link events during the primal period to a variety of behaviors/conditions under the heading of "antisocial," including schizophrenia, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other categories.
  • Group B Strep Prophylaxis: What Are We Creating, by Mary Lou Singleton. A midwife and herbalist discusses the practice of (and in some cases, requirement for) the use of antibiotics in labor for women with group B strep and the potentially lifelong negative outcome for babies. She also offers some age-old alternatives to this regimen.
  • Epidurals: Risks and Concerns for Mother and Baby, by Sarah J. Buckley. A discussion of primal health would be incomplete without the inclusion of epidurals in labor, since they are used in approximately two-thirds of US births and are common in most developed countries. Frequent contributor Sarah J. Buckley, MD, explains the effects of this intervention, providing a good argument against using it for uncomplicated births.
  • Manual Rotation Maneuvers for Persistent OP Position, by Katherine Bramhall. Occipital posterior position is the most common malposition at delivery, contributing to low Apgars and birth trauma. The author explains why manual rotation may be a good option for helping to prevent these complications.
  • Psychological and Emotional Dystocia, by Heidi Nielson Sylvester. Dystocia has not only physical causes, but emotional and psychological ones. This article identifies those causes and suggests some strategies that women and their carers can use to avoid or minimize this problem.
  • The Midwife's Grandchild: When the New Grandmother Is an Expert on Babies and Birth, by Becky Sarah. Being an "expert" grandmother-whether a midwife, lactation counselor, doula or other professional-does not guarantee that your own daughters or daughters-in-law will do things "your" way. This article, a prelude to a book on the subject, discusses some of the issues that may come up in such a situation.
  • My Midwifery Practice in Israel, by Ilana Shemesh. From high school to the present, Ilana Shemesh tells us how she moved to Israel and built her current homebirth midwifery practice.

View complete Table of Contents here.


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