November 20, 2013
Volume 15, Issue 24
Midwifery Today E-News
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Welcome to Midwifery Today E-News !

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In This Week’s Issue

Enhance your midwifery skills and knowledge

Harrisburg conferenceAttend the full-day Midwifery Issues and Skills class with Diane Goslin, Mary Cooper and Carol Gautschi. Suitable for both beginning and advanced midwives, sessions include VBAC, Prenatal Care for Well-being, Care for Mothers with Miscarriage, and Twin Birth. Part of our conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 2014. [Photo by Caroline Brown]

Learn more about the Harrisburg conference.

Quote of the Week

Ultimately, risk, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Dr. M.F. Green

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The Art of Midwifery

[While waiting for a transport], letting the client know what is going to happen can go a very long way toward keeping the situation calm instead of frantic and frightening. Tell her and the family that it might become noisy with sirens, there might be lights, a gurney might be brought in, many people will come at her or the baby and there will be a lot of questions asked of the midwife, the assistant and the mother or father.

Barbara E. Herrera
Excerpted from “Transports: Making a Seamless Transition,” Midwifery Today, Issue 68
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Jan’s Corner


Carol Gautschi and I had an amazing trip to Ecuador. We were looking for a place to do a Midwifery Today conference and we were also looking for a place to set up an eco-center/birth center. We were in the company of nice people in a beautiful country. After spending two days at Eco-Farm Rio Muchacho, we went to the beach community of Puerto Lopez for some whale watching—we even saw some blue-footed boobies. It was a fun excursion. From there we stayed with a lovely doula in Guayaquil, and then we were off to stay with another doula in Cuenca.

It was in Cuenca that we found a place to hold a future South American conference. Midwifery Today has had a conference in Oaxaca, Mexico, and in Costa Rica, but we have not been any further south! It will be wonderful to bring together midwives and doulas from all over Latin America to the beautiful city of Cuenca.

The highlight of our visit was a stay with Diego Alarcon at his Clinica La Primavera. We were able to attend two very beautiful births. These were especially lovely because they were the most undisturbed births I have ever attended. They were absolutely amazing. You can view many of Diego’s videos on You Tube. When Carol and I taught 5 days of midwifery to 200 midwives from around 8 provinces in China, we showed Diego’s videos knowing that the midwives in China had never seen an undisturbed birth.

Carol and I went to great craft markets in Ecuador and bought many beautiful items including an array of rebozos. Keep watch on our site for a possible conference in Ecuador and plan to join us in a beautiful country with so much to see and do. Don’t forget to bring extra money for the craft markets!

— 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.

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Midwifery Education: Caring and Sharing

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Featured Article

Ethics and Lessons Learned in Transport

The transport of a woman and her family who had planned and expected a homebirth is never easy. I personally feel impotent and like I have failed in my elemental gifts given from God as a spiritual midwife when such circumstances occur. Amidst the tears and broken hearts is the ultimate goal, to place a healthy living baby in the arms of its beautiful mother, both of them whole, nurtured, loved and sustained by the family that will love them for the years to come.

I absolutely hate transfers. However, in the grand scheme of birth, a transfer is bound to happen at some point. As a certified nurse-midwife having worked in hospitals, and as a homebirth attendant, I am allowed a glimpse into everyone’s limited reality, except perhaps that of the physician.

As a nurse I take care of all patients, regardless. Even though they all have different doctors, they are mine to vigil and sweat over, administer treatments and medications to, actively listen to, support, sit beside and advocate for. As a CNM I take on the primary caretaker role, similar to a physician, but still licensed as a nurse and sitting under the auspices of our state nursing board.

I am a nurse and, as much as I try, I do not understand the MD culture. I have listened to OBs and nurses complain about being on the receiving end of what they imagined was a homebirth gone horribly wrong and a possible legal nightmare. The common experience from nurses and OBs on the receiving end of a transport (besides their fears of an injured or dead baby) is the lack of communication between providers.

Like all midwives, I take my role as a supporter of women and the natural process of pregnancy, labor, birth and post-birth seriously. There is more to the transport of a woman with her heart set on a natural out-of-hospital birth experience than communicating facts. Even though we prepare women, most feel a transport won’t happen to them. I know all midwives wish the OB provider could comprehend that not only are there certain medical facts to be communicated in the precise manner the OB desires them, but that there are also emotional and social preparations as the client’s mother or spouse grieves their lost “ideal” birth.

The midwife is not only concerned about the health of the mother and baby; she must also emotionally prepare the family for the transport and help them adjust to the hospital. Most women choose homebirth after careful research and because they feel a midwife-assisted birth in the home is the right fit for them. By nature of the differences between the midwifery and medical models, the doctor or nurse can never fully appreciate the steps the midwife has taken to help the client overcome her fears.

Sandra Tallbear
Excerpted from “Ethics and Lessons Learned in Transport,” Midwifery Today, Issue 97
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Website Update

Read this article excerpt from the most recent issue of Midwifery Today, Autumn 2013:

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Conference Chatter

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Our East Coast, US conference is again going to be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 23–27, 2014. Harrisburg is a joy because we get to be in Amish country. This year’s theme is, “Out of Many, One: Unity in Midwifery.” This is a theme we wanted to embrace because we are all very much attached to each other. My hope is that we will find harmony and respect within our community of amazing midwives of all kinds, plus committed doulas and educators. A roster of excellent teachers and classes is in store for you.

Gail Tully will be on hand to do not just one, but two of her amazing Spinning Babies workshops. Since she limits the class to 35 participants, she has kindly agreed to do a post-conference course as well. We have two days of midwifery skills with many varied sessions, and Breech Skills has become a regular feature of Midwifery Today conferences. Carol Gautschi will offer her ideas on organic midwifery. Ina May Gaskin is scheduled to join us with her important insights. Please join us to recharge your birth soul, meet likeminded people and learn from amazing teachers. Whether you are just beginning your birth journey or are a seasoned practitioner, we have a lot for you to immerse yourself in!

— Jan Tritten, mother of Midwifery Today

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A fetal ejection reflex story: The baby came flying out with one arm in the air like Wonderdog!

— Mary Callender

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