Midwifery Today, Issue 95, Autumn 2010

Issue 95: First Stage
Theme: First Stage
Cover photo by Lyndsay Stradtner
Life in Motion Photography

The theme of Midwifery Today Issue 95 is First Stage. Packed with informative, clinical articles related to the first stage of labor, this issue will help midwives understand the dangers of epidurals; the pros and cons of rupturing membranes; and the wonders of using homeopathic remedies for labor and birth. Also included in this issue: Author Leah Hazard discusses the unique cycle of fear, tension and panic that fathers experience during their partners’ labor and birth; midwife Carol Gautschi discusses her views on first stage; and a midwife working in Haiti gives an eloquent update on one Haitian birth clinic’s role in helping earthquake survivors.


Poetry: Immortality
Janelle C. Rice
From the Editor: From Russia With Love
Jan Tritten
In her editorial for our Autumn 2010 issue, Midwifery Today’s editor in chief, Jan Tritten, recalls the 2010 Birthing in Love Conference, held in Russia this spring; "adopts" a new daughter; is amazed by Russia’s sites and people; and ponders the best way to train midwives worldwide.
Tricks of the Trade
Marion’s Message: Study Shows Mothers’ Lives Saved
Marion Toepke McLean
Recent news that pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths have substantially decreased worldwide proves that efforts by maternal and child health care workers are finally paying off.
Media Reviews
Optimal Pelvic Positioning produced by BirthWorks International, Jean Sutton and Cathy Daub, and Orgasmic Birth by Elizabeth Davis and Debra Pascali-Bonaro
Classified Advertising
Photo Album


The Amniotomy Question: Examining the Pros and Cons of Rupturing Membranes
Verna Oberg
In this thoroughly researched article, author Verna Oberg explores amniotomy’s role as a ritual for birth attendants and discusses its possible psychological effects on the baby.
Ordinary Miracle: The Homebirth of Ava Christine
Janelle C. Rice
Looking forward to her planned homebirth, a mother finds that her fourth birth experience brings all the joy, love and happiness she expected, as well as something she didn’t anticipate—her longest first stage of labor yet!
Like Cures Like: Homeopathy for Labor and Birth
Diane Gregg
In the first part of this two-part series on homeopathy, midwife Diane Gregg advises other birth practitioners on using homeopathic remedies during labor and birth, citing case studies from her own practice. Included in this article are handy, homeopathic remedy charts perfect for clipping out, laminating and sticking in your birth kit.
Deceleration Phase
Tiffany Lundeen
A midwife draws on her art history knowledge, visualizing and contemplating “the truest blue ever painted on canvas,” as she births her second child, Azure, at home.
Birthing to Redeem
Spring Aarons
Scarred by a negative birth experiences, a mother finds redemption in a natural, midwife-assisted birth.
Gift of Intuition
Carmen Heidi Linhares
A group of Hawaiian certified nurse-midwives share their thoughts on midwives’ intuition and spirituality in childbirth.
The Epidural Trip: Why Are So Many Women Taking Dangerous Drugs during Labor?
Judy Slome Cohain
Using up-to-date statistics and research, this article gives a nitty-gritty look at one of the most common obstetric interventions in use today—epidural analgesia—and exposes the serious risks epidurals pose to mothers and babies.
Who Counts Where I Come From?
Sister MorningStar
As a Cherokee daughter facing another nationwide census, author Sister MorningStar discusses how people are counted in this world, and ponders the statistics on cesarean births, which only count the mother, not the baby—or babies—born to her.
Santa Fe Homebirth
Adam Perry
A father details the birth of his daughter, who entered the world surrounded by loved ones, in her mother’s childhood home near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Leah Hazard
Paying attention to the “emotional roller coaster fathers experience throughout pregnancy and birth,” author Leah Hazard explores the cycle of “fear, tension and panic” many fathers experience during their partner’s labor and offers tips for midwives and doulas to help fathers better enjoy the birthing process.
A Story of Homebirth after Cesarean
After undergoing a c-section with her firstborn, a mother finds hope and comfort planning her vaginal birth after cesarean, then birthing her daughter at home.
Gestational Diabetes: An Update for Midwives
Rachel Teadora
This article examines the evidence behind the new diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, which will double the number of pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and discusses how the new criteria may affect midwifery care.
Before the First Wave: Midwife Carol Gautschi Shares Her Views on First Stage
Kelly Moyer
Veteran midwife Carol Gautschi shares her insights on the first stage of labor and offers practical advise to midwives.
First Stage: Preparing the Fetus Ejection Reflex
Michel Odent
Author Michel Odent reminds midwives that “when there is an authentic fetus ejection reflex, the midwife can forget her usual worries about, for example, shoulder dystocia, difficulties for the delivery of the head in the case of a breech presentation, difficult process of rotation, dangerous perineal laceration, etc.” and gives succinct pointers for helping women experience a natural fetus ejection reflex.
Russia 2010 Conference Photos
A Family-centered Cesarean Birth
Stacy S. Hirsch
Faced with a necessary cesarean, a mother must give up her hopes of having a homebirth, but still manages to craft an inspiring birth plan that gives her daughter “the gentlest birth possible given the circumstances.”
Turn Baby Turn: New Maneuvers for Turning a Malpositioned Baby
Linda Hawkins
An obstetric nurse shares her maneuvers for helping to get a baby’s head out of the mother’s bladder compartment and into the pelvic compartment, then facilitating rotation from an occiput posterior position to an occiput anterior or occiput transverse position, saving the mother many hours of hard, ineffective labor and avoiding the need for a c-section.
The Choices We Make: Building Trust between Midwife and Client
Ireena Keeslar
Veteran midwife Ireena Keeslar offers tips to midwives who want to build a midwifery practice that honors and respects their clients, while still making time and space for themselves and their own families.

International Midwife

We’ll Grow Back When the Rain Comes: An Update from Haiti
Nechama Wildanah
A midwife working with laboring mothers in a still-devastated Haiti, is empowered and amazed by the tireless midwives she meets who are “single-handedly making such a big difference in women’s lives and the region at large.”
Linda Jenkins
Take a trip through Borneo with author Linda Jenkins and discover the birthing rituals and customs of this delightful island nation.
Fight for Your Right: Successful VBAC in an Australian Hospital
Nina McLean
In this “it would be funny if it weren’t so true” story, an Australian midwife recounts the behind-the-scenes things doctors and nurses do and say when a laboring mother transfers from home to hospital with her private midwife, doula and husband.
One Midwife’s Journey: Stories from Papua New Guinea and Beyond
Lindy Joy Cummings
Gigliola, a veteran midwife now in her 80s shares stories with author Lindy Joy Cummings about her long midwifery career in Papua New Guinea and other remote parts of the world.
Cards & Letters