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Midwifery Today Issue Number 100 (Winter 2011/2012) Third Stage
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Theme: 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!

Articles include:

  • Marion’s Message: More on Human Rights for Childbearing Women by 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.
  • Sharing Stories, Reclaiming Birth Knowledge by Rachel Reed
    An Australian educator and midwife argues for a body of midwifery knowledge that is “distinct, different and equally (if not more) valuable” than the technocratic approach that dominates modern obstetric care.
  • Velamentous Birth Story by 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 by 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! by 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.
  • Knitted Noggins by Rethinking the Newborn Cap by 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 by Simone Snyder
    Three birth stories illustrate how gentle hospital deliveries can become nightmares in the third stage.
  • Placentophagia: Stir-fry, Smoothie or Raw? by 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 by Vicki Penwell
    A touching portrait honoring the memory, legacy and life of midwife Elizabeth Gilmore.
  • Returning to Traditional Midwifery by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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.
  • The Strong Women by 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 by 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 by 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!”

View complete Table of Contents here.


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