July 31, 2013
Volume 15, Issue 16
Midwifery Today E-News
“Twins”
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In This Week’s Issue


Help your clients have more comfortable labors

Belgium conferenceAttend “Comfort Techniques for Midwives and Doulas,” a full-day pre-conference class with Debra Pascali-Bonaro. You’ll learn about techniques such as the gate control theory of pain, hot and cold compresses, music, massage/touch, acupressure, aromatherapy and the birthing ball. You’ll see demonstrations of a variety of positions and techniques for both first and second stage, and there will be time for hands-on practice. Registrants at previous conferences have raved about this class, calling it fun and informative.

Learn more about the Belgium conference.


Come to our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania!

Mark your calendars and save the date: April 23–27, 2014. You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of classes including Breech Skills, Optimal Fetal Positioning, Spinning Babies, Cultural Aspects of Resuscitation and Midwifery Skills. To receive a printed program by mail when it becomes available, please e-mail admin@midwiferytoday.com with your name and postal address.

Learn more about the Harrisburg conference.


Quote of the Week

There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared: twins.

Josh Billings, American humorist


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The Art of Midwifery

It seems theoretically easier to meet the enormous needs of the developing human brain when the diet includes some food from the sea. Our focus has been on the molecules of fatty acids, which are preformed and abundant in the sea food chain. Sea foods have other characteristics, such as being rich in iodine. Iodine is also essential for brain development, as a major component of thyroid hormones. The imbalances between different thyroid hormones in preeclampsia also suggest that brain development is a priority among humans. Of course, the nutrients abundant in the sea food chain include salt. There is an increased need of salt during pregnancy. A sufficient amount of salt tends to moderate the stimulation of the reninangiotensin system and is also necessary for the adaptive blood dilution in late pregnancy.

Michel Odent, excerpted from “Land Food, Sea Food, Brain Food,” Birth Wisdom, Tricks of the Trade, Vol. III, a Midwifery Today book
View table of contents / Order the book


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 mtensubmit@midwiferytoday.com.


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Jan’s Corner

Twins

I have been thinking about twins and how to grow healthy babies. The old axiom that you are eating for two becomes eating for three! Though it has been discounted by many, it really is true. Dr. Tom Brewer wrote about the importance of good nutrition and how twins need mom to eat healthfully to grow two babies. The importance of nutrition cannot be overemphasized in pregnancy, and even more so with twins. Dr. Brewer discovered that with good nutrition, voilá!—the babies rarely come prematurely. A dear midwife friend told me, “Babies come out early because they are hungry.”

We as midwives and doulas have a responsibility to the mothers and babies we serve. Doctors rarely tell mothers about the importance of nutrition to support healthy pregnancy. So please, take the responsibility to help moms with this (fairly easy) thing they can do to grow a healthy baby or babies. Let them know that prenatal care is what they do between visits to their midwife or doctor. Good nutrition can prevent prematurity, preeclampsia, abruption of the placenta, long hard labor, hemorrhage, time in the neonatal intensive care unit and a multitude of other problems we are just beginning to discover. It is up to us who care for mothers and babies to spread the message of the importance of prenatal nutrition. So tell the world far and wide of the value of nutrition in pregnancy. Let’s help empty out those neonatal intensive care units!

For helpful information regarding prenatal nutrition, visit the Dr. Brewer Twin Pregnancy Diet page.

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.

Jan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jantritten
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Jan on Facebook: facebook.com/JanTrittensBirthPage
International Alliance of Midwives on Facebook: facebook.com/IAMbirth
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Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing: facebook.com/MidwiferyEducation


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Featured Article

Six Days, Two Healthy Babies, One Extraordinary Birth

It wasn’t that I set out to be an enthusiastic proponent of homebirth. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t thought much about what kind of a birth experience I would like to have until I got pregnant. Somehow, when I found out that I was carrying a baby (or what turned out to be two), it became clear that it was my greatest desire to allow these children to enter the world in the most sacred, peaceful, loving way that I could imagine.

When I was six months pregnant, my partner, Francis, and I relocated to Southern California. I had read a number of books about birthing and was considering having a homebirth with a midwife. In the stories I read about homebirth, women went through amazing vision quests, discovered their own strength and softness and molded into the divine feminine. I wanted one of those experiences; I wanted to bond with Francis and feel the primordial creative force coming through us as we journeyed together with our babies through the transition from the unseen world into the material world. And I wanted to feel everything. Nowhere in my vision of birth did I see bright lights, hospital gowns, IVs or being immobilized and told what to do.

Miraculously, I found a wonderful Ob/Gyn who agreed to do my prenatal appointments and be a backup doctor for my homebirth. I just needed to find a midwife willing and capable of safely delivering my precious twins at home. This proved to be no small feat, but where there is a will, there is a way. After countless e-mails and conversations, I finally found an amazing midwife who had delivered 14 sets of twins and over 500 singletons. Francis and I drove three hours to meet with Brenda, and at that first appointment I knew I’d found the person who I trusted enough to be the first one to touch my babies. She was Mama Earth embodied: nurturing, grounded and serene. Moreover, being a midwife is truly Brenda’s calling; she is passionate about giving women like me a choice in how we bring our children into the world. I was grateful and relieved to finally have all the birth plans finalized.

At 36 weeks, Francis and I went in for a routine appointment with the doctor and found out that Zaanti (our son, and the first one in position to come out) was footling breech. Miela (our daughter) was vertex. The doctor said that she no longer felt comfortable being a backup for my homebirth and strongly suggested that I schedule a c-section at 38 weeks. My heart tightened. My throat narrowed. I felt as if I was breathing through a tiny straw, getting just enough air to survive. I composed myself enough to thank the Ob/Gyn for her opinion and told her we needed time to process this news at home. As soon as we left the office, I became hysterical. This news was so sudden. I worked to accept that what I could control was setting a clear intention to follow my own Wisdom; the rest was out of my control and so I needed to surrender to the events as they unfolded. Whether it was a c-section or a vaginal birth, I wanted it to be a conscious birth with a conscience.

Francis and I decided to gather more opinions before we made a decision. In the week after that appointment, I entered a period of intense spiritual contemplation. I meditated, prayed, journaled and spoke with every “expert” I could locate—I even consulted a psychic. But, mostly, I listened. I closed my eyes, but opened them wide to the internal compass leading to a birth that honored me, Francis and our babies.

Lana Shlafer
Excerpted from “Six Days, Two Healthy Babies, One Extraordinary Birth,” Birth Stories, a Midwifery Today e-book.


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You want to be a midwife, but where do you start?

Are you an aspiring midwife who’s looking for the right school? Or maybe you’re trying to decide if midwifery is the path for you. Visit our Better Birth Education Opportunities page to discover ways to start or continue your education.



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Want the whole story?

Subscribe to Midwifery Today print magazine and four times a year you’ll receive 72 pages filled with complete articles, birth stories, stunning birth photography and more. Midwifery Today E-News is just a taste of what you’ll find in Midwifery Today magazine. Subscribe.

Midwifery Today Magazine Issue 106

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Choose your classes from our Eugene 2013 conference!

Bring the conference home with your choice of classes on a portable USB drive. Classes available include Midwifery Skills, Developing Your Breech Skills, The First Hour after Birth, Shoulder Dystocia, Art in Midwifery and Birth, Prolonged Labor and Malpresentation. Just go here to select the classes you want and place your order.

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Website Update

Read this article excerpt from the newest issue of Midwifery Today, Summer 2012:

  • Protecting the Sisterhood: Thoughts from Midwifery Today’s Human Rights in Childbirth Summit, April 2, 2013—by Kathi Valeii

    Excerpt: Persecuted midwife Katie McCall compiled a list that she calls “Sisters in Chains,” which details more than 100 midwives who have been or are currently being persecuted for practicing their craft. While the list is horrifying, I’m certain it does not capture the entire gravity of the situation. As I sat in the summit room listening to 10 panelists detail their legal encounters, my jaw dropped as woman after woman stepped up to the microphone to tell her own traumatic tale. At the end of the day, when Robbie Davis-Floyd asked who in the room had endured persecution, I had to gather my chin up off the floor when around 75% of the room held up their hands.


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Birth Q&A

Q: When caring for a mom with a twin pregnancy, what do you do? What does she need to know?

— Midwifery Today

A: Get at least 110 g of protein per day! And get into an aquatics class to be able to exercise and help babies find an optimal position.

— Martha Paschke

A: Mom needs to know how a proper diet will help her carry her babies to term, birth the way she wants and breastfeed. Her nutrition will take a great deal of focus and conscious effort.

— Rebecca Strickler

A: Mom needs to know what kind of twins they are and how important diet (especially protein) is to carrying to term. She needs to know about malpresentations in birth and her rights as a birthing woman.

— Selena Harbick

A: Eat nothing processed and find a doctor who will allow you to have the twins naturally. Once you find the doctor, know that this is how your babies will come—naturally and on their own.

— Lucy Mesa

A: Being pregnant is tiring, being pregnant with multiples is even more so. Early on, I’d recommend that you implement a rest period every day. Just get in the habit of taking a few minutes to lie still and be quiet.

— Jonalyn Provido Soliman

A: As a mom to twins, I always felt like my OB was expecting complications. I had a great, uneventful twin pregnancy, but I always left my OB’s office feeling like I should be worried when actually everything was great. I think expecting a normal, healthy pregnancy contributed to achieving that.

— Caralee Anderton


Craving more birth info?
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Conference Chatter

Harrisburg Twin Birth Class

Greetings to all of you lovely birth practitioners and supporters,

It’s a hot summer day here in Eugene, Oregon, and we are working hard not only on the upcoming conference in Belgium, but also on our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conference which is set for April 23–27, 2014. Our program is almost finalized and will be up on the website once it is complete. I thought for this installment of conference chatter I would share a little teaser of the upcoming program. This edition of E-News is focused on twin birth, and at our Harrisburg conference we will have an amazing class on twin birth offered as part of our Midwife Issues and Skills pre-conference course. This will be taught by Mary Cooper and Diane Goslin. For all of you interested in learning more about twin birth, this class is a must. Check back soon on our website for the program or wait for it in your mail box. We hope to see you in Harrisburg!

For more information about the Harrisburg conference, go here: midwiferytoday.com/conferences/Harrisburg2014/

If you have any questions about this conference or any conference from past or future, please feel free to drop me a note at conference@midwiferytoday.com and I’ll be happy to assist you.

— Andrea Goldman


Stories

A big black cat had it out for my apprentice. The cat had stalked her during a home visit, freaking her out. At the birth, as baby was crowning, the cat jumped onto my apprentice’s back. She screamed and backed up right into the birth tray causing it to tumble right into the birth tub! I had to ignore it all and continue to help baby out and into mama’s hands.

— Lily Bhavani Aquarian


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