Midwifery Today, Issue 96, Winter 2010/2011

Issue 96: Waterbirth
Theme: Waterbirth
Cover photo by Lynsey Stone
Lynsey Stone Photography

The theme of Midwifery Today Issue 96 is Waterbirth. The ever-increasing popularity of waterbirth warrants a fresh look at an old practice. This issue examines new research on the benefits of waterbirth for babies and takes a look at how waterbirth can make the work of mamas and midwives easier. Craniosynostosis, belly mapping, and the role of spirituality in midwifery are also explored, along with birth stories from around the globe.


Poetry: From Within
Melissa Shaw
Jan Tritten
Editor-in-Chief Jan Tritten comments on the recent witch hunt in Europe and on the state of motherbaby rights around the world, calling all natural birth practitioners and supporters to protect birth as an inalienable human right.
Tricks of the Trade
Marion’s Message: Human Rights for Breech Mamas
Marion Toepke McLean
Marion reviews research on vaginal breech birth, defending access to safe, vaginal birth for breech babies.
Media Reviews
Classified Advertising
Photo Album


Belly Mapping: Put Positioning into Parents’ Hands
Gail Tully
Help new parents feel more comfortable with their growing baby and teach them about the importance of positioning at the same time with this helpful, instructional article about belly mapping.
Birth as a Shape-shifter
Melissa-Marie Marks
A quick, stirring retelling of a birthing woman who “sings her song of life and death, courage and fear, the end and the beginning.”
Birth of Jocelyn Mary
Erin Moyen
The author is reminded of the incredible importance of a natural, uninterrupted birth process while birthing her daughter, Jocelyn Mary.
Waterbirth and GBS
Judy Slome Cohain
The literature suggests that low-risk women who give birth in water may have a far lower rate of newborn GBS than women who have a dry birth. Author, midwife and researcher Judy Slome Cohain culls through the research and delivers an in-depth look at waterbirth and GBS in this eye-opening article.
Waterbirth with a Blind Mother
Cornelia Enning
That first moment of eye contact between mother and baby is critical during a waterbirth. So what happens when the mother you’re assisting as a midwife is birthing in water and is blind? Author Cornelia Enning recounts one beautiful experience.
Like Cures Like: Homeopathy for Pregnancy and Babies
Diane Gregg
An experienced midwife shares her homeopathic knowledge for solving pregnancy and postpartum woes inexpensively and effectively with homeopathic remedies. Includes a handy chart for midwives on the go.
Kristi Zittle
A retired midwife recounts her experiences with waterbirth and shows how she came full-circle with this particular birthing method.
My Waterbirth
Simone Snyder
Water plays a key role in this sweet story of a home waterbirth.
Second Was a Gift
Lydia M. Josephson
The author overcomes her fears during her second birth and doesn’t let the string of “what ifs” overcome her determination to birth naturally, at home and in the water.
Unusual Foetal Positions: Hand Beside Ear
Jean Sutton
Jean Sutton, an expert in baby positions, offers sound advice for midwives facing the unusual “hand beside ear” position.
Waterbirth Makes Midwife’s Job Easier
Samantha McCormick
Why should midwives consider waterbirth as a really, really good thing? Author Samantha McCormick explains why waterbirth rules.
My Life as a Spiritual Midwife
Stephanie Dawn
The author guides readers through her role as a spiritual birth healer, a practice that rolls years of experience as a counselor, healer and workshop leader into one to help pregnant women and their families get the spiritual support they require during the prenatal and postpartum periods.
Elizabeth Davis
An excerpt from Midwifery Today’s new edition of the book Paths to Becoming an Midwife: Getting an Education, this article guides aspiring midwives toward an educational program that will “midwife” them in a way that prepares them fully and totally to midwife others.
The Mindfulness of Midwifery: Creating a Practice with Intent
Jodilyn Owen
How can we help ourselves and other midwives not burn out from the time-consuming, all-encompassing work that is midwifery? In this article, author Jodilyn Owen offers some sound advise based on her own past struggles with time management and burnout.
A Motherless Mother
Rea Bochner
A mother shares a bittersweet tale of birthing her second child naturally and beautifully in the comfort of her own home—the same home in which her mother had recently died.
A Tale of Two Births: The Healing Power of VBAC
Kimberly Kovach Trout
A CNM professor discovers the usefulness of the Foley Bulb when her own daughter wishes to birth vaginally after a cesarean.
Henry’s Waterbirth
Christine Gibson
A mother shares her experience of “coming to the homebirth movement through a strange back door” in this tale of home waterbirth.
A Primer on Craniosynostosis
Melanie Roder
When her daughter is born with unusual features, the author is thrown into a world she never heard of: the world of craniosynostosis. Here, she shares her knowledge with readers and offers a primer on this unusual ailment.
With Women
Mary Bernabe
A midwife from rural Washington State reflects on her many years of practice, sharing her experiences of being with women as they birth.
Preventing and Healing Infant Birth Trauma
Autumn Gentry
The adverse affects of birth trauma on infants are explored, along with preventative practices and suggestions to help both midwives and parents heal birth trauma.

International Midwife

Denise’s Birth
Kelly C. Dunn
Midwives from Mother Health International are still assisting earthquake victims in Haiti. In this moving tale, the author helps a young teenage mother who is alone, afraid and in labor.
The Same in Any Language
Jane Drichta
A US midwife working in the Philippines experiences the sharp pain of telling a young mother that her baby has died in utero and realizes some human experiences are “the same in any language.”
Ibu Robin Lim
A gorgeous tale that weaves language, music and birth.
Is That the Placenta?
J. Page
A humor-infused take on natural third stage labor by an experienced homebirth midwife.
Manisha’s Birth Experience
Lee Mantini
The author discusses birth in India and highlights the tale of Manisha, a 16-year-old in an arranged marriage who experiences an extended labor.
Cards & Letters