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Midwifery Today Issue Number 102 (Summer 2012) Fourth Stage
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Code: MT102
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Theme: The Role of Story in Birth

The theme of Midwifery Today, Issue 102, is Fourth Stage. For many new parents, the postpartum period is a time of survival. The myriad changes that have just taken place emotionally, physically, mentally and financially can be difficult to transition into, but for many in our culture, this sensitive time is overlooked or under-supported. Some view this fourth stage of birth as a nesting time of 42 days, others see it as the first three months of a baby’s life and still others see it as only the first one or two hours after birth. In this issue of Midwifery Today, you will read how some of the rest of the world views this time, as well as gain some information on newborn procedures and practices. Enjoy!

Articles include:

  • The Fourth Stage: Sharing the Asian Way by Ibu Robin Lim
    From her experience as a midwife in Indonesia, CNN Hero of the Year, Robin Lim, shares with us the Asian way of taking care of women postpartum.
  • First Hours After Birth: Family Integration and Mutual Regulation by Penny Simkin
    Benefits of a holistic approach to fourth stage are reviewed in this informative article by childbirth educator and doula, Penny Simkin.
  • Childbirth from a Bacteriological Perspective by Michel Odent
    French pediatrician, Michel Odent, shares how interfering with the process of childbirth causes a baby to enter the world of microbes in a radically different way-one that is far less desirable in terms of the health of the baby.
  • Building My Nest by Linda Louise Henry
    A personal account of a mom who sought to preserve and honor the fourth stage of labor by creating a “nest” and arranging her life so she could be fully present and fully undisturbed for the first 42 days of her newborn’s life.
  • Evidence-based Midwifery: The Case Against Newborn Suctioning by Melissa Marks
    “Research and studies show that oro-naso-pharyngeal suctioning (with the bulb or DeLee) does not improve outcomes (Mercer 2007), and it can actually be harmful to the newborn infant (Velaphi and Vidyasagar 2008).”
  • Let Time Stand Still: Bonding with Your Baby by Nancy Halseide
    Managing editor of Midwifery Today, Nancy Halseide, shares the stories of the births of her daughters. She reflects on the bonding time with each girl and how the different circumstances hindered or enhanced this special time.
  • The Fourth Trimester and the Calming Reflex: Novel Ideas for Nurturing Young Infants by Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP
    Dr. Karp shares his techniques on how to trigger a newborn’s “calming reflex” by using what he calls the 5 S’s: swinging, shushing, side-lying, swaddling and sucking.
  • Stanislawa Leszczynska: The Midwife of Auschwitz by Jane Beal
    The historical account of Stanislawa Leszczynska, who, through her midwifery skills, bravely sought to bring hope and life into the hellish circumstances of Auschwitz.
  • Postpartum Emotions by Sue Turner
    An informative look at the different hormonal shifts that occur postpartum and a discussion on what midwives can do to aid in this transition.
  • A New Understanding: Relating to C-section Trauma via Abdominal Hernia Surgery by Aurore Adamkiewicz
    After birthing a baby through a broken pelvis and then going on to have abdominal hernia surgery, author Adamkiewicz was able to relate to the experience of a c-section by way of the medical procedures and recovery she endured.
  • All That Matters Is a Healthy Husband by Molly Remer
    A light-hearted allegory of a bride experiencing the parallels on her wedding day of what many mothers experience in birth.
  • Violence, the Human Experience and Midwifery by Sarah Proechel
    Midwife International clinical director, Sarah Proechel, reflects on the state of violence in the world today including its presence in birth and explores its roots as deeply embedded in the human experiences of shame and vulnerability. She offers the role of the midwife as an opportunity to transform violence at the source, holding the space for a more peaceful world to be born.
  • Neonatal Resuscitation with Intact Umbilical Cord by Angie Evans
    A research-based article demonstrating the benefits of keeping the umbilical cord intact, specifically in regards to situations when resuscitation is necessary.
  • Prenatal Ultrasound Does Not Improve Perinatal Outcomes by Judy Slome Cohain
    Author Judy Slome Cohain demonstrates how lifestyle changes do more to improve birth outcomes than prenatal screening tests.
  • Social Media and Midwives: What Is Appropriate? by Louana George
    A call for midwives, doulas and childbirth educators to come up with appropriate guidelines with regards to Internet posting.
  • Compound Presentation: An HBAC Triumph! by Katie Findlay
    A mom who tested GBS positive, whose water broke before contractions began and whose baby was coming out with his hand on top of his head, was able to have a truly empowering HBAC experience.
  • Pokot Tribe by Amy Towle
    A midwife shares her experience of learning about village birth from a traditional midwife of the Pokot Tribe located in the “vast nothingness” of Central Kenya.
  • Kraamverzorgsters: Postpartum Aid in the Netherlands by Thea van Tuyl
    A look into the Dutch system of postpartum care.
  • Birth in Israel by Ilana Shemesh
    A midwife in Israel compares birth in the country now to what it was like 30 years ago and notes the improvements that have taken place.

View complete Table of Contents here.


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