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Through networking and education, Midwifery Today's mission is to return midwifery care to its rightful position in the family, to make midwifery care the norm throughout the world, and to redefine midwifery as a vital partnership with women.
June 22, 2011 Volume 13, Issue 13
Midwifery Today E-News “Midwifing Moms with Disabilities”
Special prices on Midwifery Today magazine! This offer expires July 15, 2011 (postmark or fax by the expiration date). More information.
Save $5 on any one Motherbaby Press book
Check out our Spring into Savings page to find out how. Choose from The Power of Women, Brought to Earth by Birth, Survivor Moms or Placenta: The Gift of Life. You’ll also find special offers from other birth-related businesses. Offer expires June 30, 2011.
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Learn about birth and disability with Midwifery Today Issue 27.
You’ll be able to read about substance abuse and how it affects childbearing, how a woman with an inverted uterus had a successful birth experience, cerebral palsy and more. This issue also includes Guidelines for Serving Disabled Women. Just $7 plus shipping! To order
This issue of Midwifery Today E-News is brought to you by:
Attend one or both days of the two-day Traditional Midwifery Skills pre-conference class at our conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany, this October. You’ll learn from teachers such as Elizabeth Davis, Carol Gautschi and Ina May Gaskin. Topics covered include Essentials for a Normal Birth, Preventing Complications with Prenatal Care, Labor and Birth Complications, Holistic Complete Exam, Helping the Slow-starting Baby and Suturing Overview.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
— Marianne Williamson
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In late labor, women are often miserably hot and sweaty, even in air-conditioned environments. Hospitals usually don’t allow the use of electric fans and rural homebirth clients may not even have electricity. I always carry a folding metal and paper fan. This small, simple tool can provide real comfort to a hard-working woman—plus, it can give a nervous family member a useful job.
ALL BIRTH PRACTITIONERS: The techniques you’ve perfected over months and years of practice are valuable lessons for others to learn! Share them with E-News readers by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is normal birth? I believe that almost all women have within them the capacity to birth in power, sacredness and trust. It is the job of the midwife in the prenatal course to help guide women to become physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy. It is the belief of many midwives, including myself, that if mothers and midwives do the work in prenatal care, the birth will go well. Though birth itself may be normal, no two births are alike and there is nothing normal about a miracle.
Think of what a detour birth has taken from the way it was designed by our creator to be. I recently asked on my Facebook page, “Could it be we lost birth when we took the sacredness out of it? At a birth or in a prenatal or postpartum visit you are standing on Holy Ground.” Indeed, when you are dealing with pregnant and birthing women you are in the presence of one who is carrying the future.
All birth practitioners who are “with women” are called to a holy place, a place where true giftedness is needed. As midwives, we must always be ready to learn, grow and give. The abilities we need to cultivate will take a lifetime of humble learning. I don’t know of a profession that calls for more giving but also returns so much. Most midwives love their work. I hope you are one of those blessed practitioners! Keep up the good work for motherbaby. The world needs you. Remember also to treat each other with the love and respect you give to birthing women—doing so really can change the world!
— Jan Tritten, mother of Midwifery Today
Jan Tritten is the founder, editor-in-chief and mother of Midwifery Today magazine. She became a midwife in 1977 after the amazing homebirth of her second daughter. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies throughout the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world, or join her online, as she works to transform birth practices around the world.
Are you ready to enhance your career and develop a higher level of patient care? The University of Cincinnati’s CCNE-accredited MSN program combines the prestigious College of Nursing with flexible online studies. You can perform your clinicals in your own community, gain expert knowledge, and graduate in just over two years. This program is 100% online. Learn more.
MANA Region 3/NCMA Conference 08/05/2011 to 08/08/2011 in Cary, NC
Midwives, doulas and childbirth educators from across the region can reunite with old friends, make new ones, and learn information in workshops to enrich their professional practices. Key note speakers are Anne Frye, CPM, and Jan Tedder, FNP (H.U.G. Your Baby). CEUs applied for, MEAC and ACNM.
Pregnancy can be a time of disequilibrium for any woman. Women with disabling conditions may experience a double dose of it. The normal feelings of ambivalence that accompany early pregnancy may be prolonged for women who are unsure of both their physical ability and their emotional responses. They often need more time and opportunity to talk about the impact of pregnancy than “able-bodied” women do. On the other hand, some women are so excited about being able to carry out a “normal” function like childbirth that they move on very quickly in their acceptance of pregnancy.
The fatigue of early pregnancy can be severe for women with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or chronic fatigue syndrome. And the feelings of dependence that so often accompany pregnancy, those feelings that allow the woman to contemplate herself and her body, are often difficult for women with disabilities. They have spent so much of their lives striving for independence that it is often very difficult for them to allow others to take care of them.
A discussion about the woman’s feelings about her changing body shape will reveal whether she views those changes positively or negatively. Her response will depend largely on her comfort level with herself prior to the pregnancy and on the effects of pregnancy on her comfort. For example, women with cerebral palsy or quadriplegia may have increased spasms and difficulty maintaining their posture in the wheelchair. A wider chair may provide greater physical comfort.
Physical examination may be difficult for the woman with a disability such as vision or hearing loss, chronic illness or cerebral palsy. The midwife should do as much of the exam as possible with the woman in the position which is most comfortable for her, or in her wheelchair, if she wishes. She should be asked to bring a companion with her to the exam, one who is familiar with her transfer techniques. If the midwife is assisting the woman with transfers, time must be taken to learn the ways that are most comfortable for the woman. Braces, crutches and wheelchairs should be left close by.
Like most women, she many feel vulnerable during a breast or pelvic exam. Determine in advance what kind of draping, if any, she would prefer. The traditional lithotomy position is apt to be difficult for a woman with limited mobility. After determining the extent of a woman’s abilities with respect to positioning, consider doing the pelvic exam in any of the following positions: knee chest, diamond shaped (on back with legs in diamond shape, no stirrups), side lying, or modifications of these positions. If a spasm should occur during the pelvic exam, the midwife should support the limb or area in spasm until the spasm has gone away before proceeding. Spasms can be exaggerated if the woman is feeling anxious. A close presence, and thorough explanations, can decrease feelings of uncertainty.
— Elaine Carty, Tali Conine, Angela Holbrook and Lenore Riddell
Excerpted from “Guidelines for Serving Disabled Women,” Midwifery Today, Issue 27 Order the back issue
Sick and tired of seeing birth misrepresented in the media?
Then you need Laboring Under an Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. the Real Thing. Explore media-generated myths about childbirth as you watch over 100 video clips chosen by anthropologist Vicki Elson. This DVD is a thought-provoking tour of diverse attitudes and practices, and an enlightening look at how media influences our attitudes toward birth. Get the DVD.
What’s black and white…
…read by birth professionals around the world, filled with informative articles and inspiring birth stories, and shows up in your postal mailbox four times a year? Subscribe.
Learn how sexual abuse affects women during pregnancy and childbirth and what you can do to help.
Survivor Moms: Women’s Stories of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse was written to help break down the isolation pregnant women and their caregivers often feel—as though they were the only ones having to cope with these challenges. You’ll be able to read excerpts from 81 women’s stories of birthing, mothering and healing after childhood sexual abuse. The book also includes some complete narratives, discussion of implications of women’s experiences for their care, suggestions for working together during maternity care and beyond, resources to consult, and information from current research.
Suitable for both caregivers and pregnant survivors, Survivor Moms will help anyone whose life has been touched by sexual abuse. Published by Motherbaby Press, an imprint of Midwifery Today. Get the book.
Experience the authentic sights and sounds of birth!
Birth with Gloria Lemay features nine beautiful homebirths, each one a lovely example of a normal, family birth. It’s a great resource to share with women to help build their confidence in their birthing bodies. The DVD also includes special features on circumcision and the prepuce. To order
Are you ready for birth emergencies?
As a home or birth center midwife, you may rarely encounter emergencies, but when they do happen, you need to know what to do. Birth Emergency Skills Training: Manual for Out-of-Hospital Midwives gives you the information you need. It takes you from the initial steps of intervention though definitive care, balancing a friendly tone and visual appeal with authoritative and clinically useful information. This book belongs on the shelf of every practicing midwife. To Order
Put the beauty of birth on your wall!
Choose from four inspiring mandala art prints by Amy Swagman. Each image is available as a 6 x 6 or 8 x 8 inch digital print on 9.5 x 12.5 inch archival, acid-free artist paper. Take a look at all four, then choose your favorite! To order
Please check out this YouTube video series: Come to Conference! ~ Euphoria in Eugene
Come to a Midwifery Today Conference! After studying hard in workshops for several days, attendees at the 2009 conference in Eugene, Oregon, dance enthusiastically to the exciting sounds of Zimbabwean marimba music played by Jenaguru Full Moon marimba ensemble. "We work hard ~ we play hard!" Come to conference!
Click below to view, or you may wish to go here to download video and view without streaming interruption.
Read this article excerpt from the Summer 2011 issue of Midwifery Today newly posted to our Web site:
Reach a targeted international market by advertising at Midwifery Today’s conference in Bad Wildbad, Germany: “Preserving Our Traditions, Improving Our Skills”, October 19–23, 2011. By advertising at this exciting conference you will reach an audience passionate about birth. Space is very limited so contact us soon. [ Learn More ]
Make the vision of natural birth available for all to see.
Ask your library to order natural birth and midwifery books for you. When a mother has more information about natural birth available to her, she can make more educated decisions about how she wants to birth her baby. Making requests is easy; here’s how.
As I reflect on the last 11 years, the good and the bad, I know, WITHOUT A DOUBT, that I would do it all again. Even if I knew what was to happen, I would travel our road. Katy has been the best thing to happen to me…”
— Al Hayes, reflecting on his love for his wife, Katy, who had a quadruple amputation upon developing a life-threatening Streptococcal A infection after a normal homebirth. http://katyupdate.wordpress.com/about/
Midwives are qualified to manage a variety of medical complications, and any good midwife knows when transport to a hospital is necessary (as occurred with my first birth). Midwives can stop hemorrhaging, midwives unwrap umbilical cords from around necks and torsos (as happened to my little bundle of joy), and midwives do not need electronic fetal monitors to know the baby’s heart rate, position in the birth canal, or when the next contraction is coming (any un-medicated mother will make that abundantly clear). If we stop viewing birth as an emergency waiting to happen—it’s NOT—then we can stop imposing anxiety on women about birth.
— Mayim Bialik, actress, lactation educator and homebirth mom, in defense of homebirth. http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/05/20/6682716-mayim-bialik-why-women-shouldnt-fear-home-birth
If you’d like to share a bit of wisdom from the Web, please send a 4–5 sentence excerpt, accompanied by a link, to email@example.com.
Learn about midwifery education!
Are you an aspiring midwife who’s looking for the right school? Are you a practicing midwife who would like learn more? Visit our Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.
We found a beautiful conference venue for our 2012 East Coast Conference, which will take place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 11–15. It has an open and welcoming foyer. The indoor pool and hot tub will be perfect for networking, mentoring, telling birth stories and learning from our teachers and each other about the many birth ideas and cultures represented in our amazing group of teachers and registrants.
The theme for the conference is Midwifery: Skill, Wisdom, Culture, Love. We will learn about birth in many cultures and make plans for change because “every motherbaby has the right to be treated with reverence and respect during the birth process, including pregnancy and beyond.”
Teachers will include Stephen Gaskin and Ina May Gaskin from The Farm, Marcos Leite, an amazingly gentle physician from Brazil, and Betty-Anne Daviss, who has worked in Guatemala, Haiti and Afghanistan, and helped establish Inuit midwifery in Canada. Many Amish and Mennonite midwives will join us in Harrisburg, along with Eneyda Spradlin-Ramos, who hails from Nicaragua, Tine Greve, a midwife from Norway, and Mabel Dzata, originally from Ghana, who has done thousands of births in a number of settings.
Debra Pascali-Bonaro, who has been all over the world training doulas, will help with the doula and labor comfort classes. Robbie Davis-Floyd will share her powerful teachings on culture, and Carol Gautschi and Diane Goslin will take us into the world of working with complications. (Or shall we call twins, breech and VBAC births simply variations of normal?) Michel Odent will share on many topics, from Primal Health to ideas for the birth room, and Naolí Vinaver will teach Spanish and Mexican techniques. More teachers will be announced in the coming months. Come listen, learn, share and have fun! View highlights here.
Nurses, who are usually very technocratically trained, can be as hard to convince as doctors to change childbirth. Yet no social movement to humanize birth can succeed without the involvement of nurses, at both individual and organizational levels…. The autonomy of hospital-based midwives and their degree of failure or success is highly dependent on the nurses with whom they work.
Metamorphosis helps families function better by easing unconscious tension using a non-verbal gentle touch approach. Help your family grow instead of trying to change or discipline. Helps pregnant women relax. Classes, book, DVD. Cdsilver11@gmail.comhttp://www.MetamorphosisCenter.com
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