Midwifery Today, Issue 100, Winter 2011/2012

Issue 100: Third Stage
Theme: Third Stage
Enlarge Cover
This playful cover design by Midwifery Today Graphic Designer Cathy Guy includes the cover of Issue #1; can you find it? Photographers from past issues of Midwifery Today in collage: Michele Anderson—pinkletoes.com, Elizabeth Boyce—earthmamaphotography.com, Caroline Brown, Lora Denton—loradentonphotography.com, Ed Embler, Bonnie Gruenberg—bonniegphotography.zenfolio.com, Natasha Hance—NHancephotography.com, Harriette Hartigan—harriettehartigan.com, Amber Jordan—photographybyamber.com, M. Kim—PermeableLight.com, Laurie Ludes—laurielphotography.com, Patti Ramos—pattiramos.com, Lynsey Stone—dfwbirthphotographer.com, Lyndsay Stradtner—lifeinmotionphotography.com, Jackie Willome—jackiewillomephotography.com

The theme of Midwifery Today Issue 100 is Third Stage. The third stage of labor is “a powerful and mysterious time; more important than we acknowledge and more complex than we know.” From the initial signs of active labor to baby’s first breaths, we explore the various facets of third stage, including what happens beyond the birth room door, a father’s reflections on labor, and controversial issues surrounding third stage “management.” Multicultural considerations of midwifery and birth stories from around the world are also included. Plus, we are celebrating our 100th issue with a special spread dedicated to our favorite question and answer lists. We asked—you answered!


Poetry: Red Rover
Beth Bailey Barbeau
Jan Tritten
Jan Tritten reflects on the wisdom of animal birth. Simply being with woman (or “with kitty”) and allowing the birth process to unfold naturally often produces the best results.
Tricks of the Trade
Marion’s Message: More on Human Rights for Childbearing Women
Marion Toepke McLean
Although many women experience coercive and traumatic hospital births, others fully trust their OB/GYN and prefer to birth in a clinical setting. Women must choose their allies in birth carefully while remaining mindful that castigating all OB care providers does a great disservice to those medical professionals who observe and respect human and childbirth rights.
Media Reviews
Classified Advertising
Photo Album


Velamentous Birth Story
Jana Voelke Studelska
A midwife shares her experience of a velemenous birth and recounts the importance of trusting the process of birth, no matter how unusual it may be.
The Circle Born at Home
Autumn Vergo
This touching account focuses on “the story of what happens at homebirth, but outside the birth room door.” Around a kitchen table, a circle of friendship and wisdom is formed between midwives, family members and friends.
Third Stage of Labor: Hands Off and Have Patience!
Christy Fiscer
Fiscer, a traditional midwife, explains the crucial physiological and emotional processes involved for motherbaby during third stage, and how interfering in this sacred space can disrupt bonding time and even cause harm to baby’s well-being.
Globalizing Midwifery
Sister MorningStar
A call to birthing mothers around the world to question those in authority and consider the wisdom of “the village midwife.”
Knitted Noggins—Rethinking the Newborn Cap
Nicole Deelah
Birth caps are seemingly ubiquitous, at home and in the hospital, but why? Nicole Deelah questions the use of these caps and considers how a thin layer of polyester can create a considerable barrier between mothers and newborns.
Active Interference
Simone Snyder
Three birth stories illustrate how gentle hospital deliveries can become nightmares in the third stage.
Placentophagia: Stir-fry, Smoothie or Raw?
Wendy Lubell-Snyder, with Tammi McKinley
After overcoming her initial trepidations, a new mom discovers the benefits of eating placenta.
Elizabeth Gilmore Remembered: Through the Eyes of a Friend
Vicki Penwell
A touching portrait honoring the memory, legacy and life of midwife Elizabeth Gilmore.
Returning to Traditional Midwifery
Kristi Zittle
As normal birth becomes medicalized and fear replaces faith in the birthing process, traditional and considerate midwifery continues to present a path toward happy, healthy families.
Leaving Well Alone in the Third Stage of Labour
Sarah J. Buckley
Third stage represents a time of amazing physical and emotional changes for mothers and their newborns, and this transitional period is best managed by Mother Nature while attendants patiently wait in the background.
Celebrating 100 Issues of Midwifery Today
Six Days, Two Healthy Babies, One Extraordinary Birth
Lana Shlafer
Trust, intuition and access to loving care coalesce to help a mother birth twins over a span of two days.
Acute Distress and PTSD Following Childbirth: A Complex Longitudinal Case Study
Emma Jo Knapp
Posttraumatic stress disorder affects a growing number of women, impacting the transition to motherhood in negative ways. This article questions current medical models and suggests that maternal trauma may be avoided by addressing dehumanizing birth practices.
Adrenaline in Labour
Rayner Garner
Sometimes birth is a peaceful, gentle event. Other times a cushion is needed to intercept the blows from a mother’s fists. One father tells the story of an adrenaline-fueled homebirth and how he survived it.
Diversity and Social Justice in Maternity Care as an Ethical Concern
Jon Lasser
Midwifery presents a standard for ethical maternal care, embracing social justice and diversity. Jon Lasser reminds birthing professionals to uphold these values while remaining conscious of diversity issues and cultivating cultural competency.

International Midwife

The Strong Women
Seraphim Klinefelter
A father tells the story of how an Alutiiq woman’s wisdom inspired his wife to pursue midwifery and homebirth, and how she kept the tradition of the Strong Women alive while enduring a complicated hospital delivery.
With the Grace of God We Shall Deliver This Baby
Sonia Richardson
While in England, a green Italian midwife struggles to help her African client deliver and quickly realizes the implications of cultural differences in midwifery.
Monsoon Baby: Born in Water, by the Water
Lina Duncan
Like stormy weather, birth brings “people together in the community to laugh and smile about the situation and to make the best of it!”
Rebirth of Ixmucané: Antigua, Guatemala
Jenna Houston and Chloe Gans-Rugebregt
Now defunct, a revolutionary birth center established in Guatemala lives on in the vestiges of Midwives for Midwifes, which continues the center’s vision of midwifery training and advocacy.
Cards & Letters