Midwifery Today, Issue 103, Autumn 2012

Issue 103: Shoulder Dystocia
Theme: Shoulder Dystocia
Cover photo by Lynsey Stone
Lynsey Stone Photography

The theme of Midwifery Today Issue 103 is Shoulder Dystocia. It is always beneficial to hone our skills in whatever field of work we find ourselves. Fortunately, this issue of Midwifery Today is going to benefit many childbirth professionals by providing knowledge and insights into shoulder dystocia. Among the wonderful contributors to this issue is Ina May Gaskin; in her article she retells the story of how she came to learn a simple skill that is now known as the Gaskin Maneuver. Gail Tully, another shoulder dystocia expert, has provided not one, but two articles to this edition of Midwifery Today magazine, both of which will be valuable sources of reference for many of our readers. Enjoy!


Poetry: Second Son Doth Crown
cameron j. parker
Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief, Jan Tritten, shares of her first experiences midwifing shoulder dystocias.
Marion’s Message: Pain and Fear in Childbearing
Marion Toepke McLean
In this edition of “Marion’s Message,” a discussion takes place regarding the fear that surrounds childbirth. “Acknowledging pain and fear can help us deal with their realities and not let them overcome us. This is a much better course than denying their existence.”
More departments: Networking, Tricks of the Trade, Media Reviews, News, Classified Advertising, Calendar, Photo Album, Cards & Letters


FlipFLOP: Four Steps to Remember
Gail Tully
An expert in this area of birth, Gail Tully offers a step-by-step guide, which is creatively organized in a mnemonic for memory retention, for resolving shoulder dystocia.
How Being a Homebirth Midwife Enabled Me to Learn about Shoulder Dystocia
Ina May Gaskin
Ina May shares the history behind the Gaskin Maneuver and how her non-traditional midwifery training allowed her to be introduced to skills she wouldn’t have received otherwise.
Preventing Shoulder Dystocia
Michel Odent
French pediatrician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent shares his thoughts on the basic needs of a laboring woman and how if these needs were better understood, many shoulder dystocias would be prevented.
Stressful! Birth in a Hospital
Nancy Halseide
Managing editor for Midwifery Today, Nancy Halseide, tells the story of her first experience acting as a doula and of the stress involved in trying to help a mom have a drug-free labor and birth in a hospital setting.
Monique Dembele: A Midwife of Mali
Jane Beal
Author Jane Beal recounts the life of Monique Dembele, a remarkable midwife who did much in her life to better her community with regards to childbearing.
Arm Behind the Back: A Shoulder Dystocia Complication
Gail Tully
Gail Tully offers insight into shoulder dystocia complications by informing on how important it is to look for the placement of the arm.
Sharks and VBACs: The Fears of a Father
Tony Whitman
A VBAC dad shares his thoughts on fears surrounding birth from a husband’s perspective.
The Power of Natural Progesterone: Treating Hormone-Related Postpartum Depression
Shannon K. Valenzuela
This article will prove to be a goldmine for many sufferers of postpartum depression who have wanted an alternative to anti-depressants.
Capable Hands and Calm Eyes: My Sixty Seconds of Shoulder Dystocia
Mary Ann Lieser
A wonderfully written birth story by a woman who experienced shoulder dystocia during the birth of her child.
Management of True Shoulder Dystocia at Attended Homebirth
Judy Slome Cohain
“At attended homebirth, shoulder dystocia poses less of a challenge and has better outcomes compared to hospital birth.”
Euphoric Birth
Brianna Z. Kauer
A mother shares the story of her third child’s birth—an event that expressed her “earnest desires, personality and beliefs.”
The Ecology of Childbirth
Alese Colehour
Author and university student Alese Colehour gives an insightful look into the world of microorganisms and how details of a birth can greatly affect this environment in a newborn.
Down the Rabbit Hole: A Case Against Routine Ultrasound
Elaine Alkhas
After an ultrasound, author and then expectant mother, Elaine Alkhas, received unsettling news about the health of her baby. She offers a story worth considering regarding the anxieties such news brings, only to find out that the results were wrong (as is so often the case).
Pregnancy and Yoga
Kiran Bala
An informative article detailing the benefits of yoga during pregnancy and thoughts to consider in order to make yoga safe for the expectant mom.
Midwives and Fear
Alison Bastien
Midwives and doulas may find that they relate to the ideas expressed in this story. Fear is a normal aspect of life, but it is important to know how to handle fear when you have responsibilities during a birth.
The Art of Birth Work: Theatre’s Use in Midwifery
Hannah Sinnhuber Borboleta
Theatre has many benefits for expression, and as this article demonstrates, it can have a beneficial use with regards to the preparation of childbirth as well.
Who Am I?
Sue Turner
The effects of donor conception are discussed from a very insightful perspective—that of a grown woman who late in life found out she was donor conceived.
Power, Leadership and Collaboration
Sarah Proechel
Proechel focuses on the maternal health crisis and what women can do to provide relief through leadership and collaboration.

International Midwife

God Answers a Midwife’s Prayer
Gina Dacosta
Midwifery Today’s Jan Tritten helped midwife Dacosta with a VBAC during her time in Puerto Rico. This is Dacosta’s account of this wonderfully successful birth that wasn’t lacking in miracles.
Caroline Rodgers
“An American midwife has adapted a piece of first aid equipment with a history spanning more than a century to save the lives of mothers facing the most serious of complications: obstetric hemorrhage.”
Memoir of a Sweet Granny
Soma Mukhopadhyay
In this beautiful story of a beautiful lady, author Mukhopadhyay pays a tribute to the life of her grandmother, a nurturer of women.
A Surprise Outcome at Mother Health International
Tammi McKinley
A midwife tells of her refreshing time working at Soley Lavi, Mother Health International’s birth clinic in Haiti.
Hospital Birth in Mexico
Joni Nichols
Unfortunately, birth in Mexico’s hospitals isn’t very conducive to natural and empowering experiences for women. In this article, Joni Nichols provides a concise account of the situation for Midwifery Today readers.