Jan Tritten is the founder, editor, and mother of Midwifery Today magazine and conferences. Her love for and study of midwifery sprang from the beautiful homebirth of her second daughter—after a disappointing, medicalized first birth in the hospital. After giving birth at home, she kept studying birth books because, “she thought there was something more here.” She became a homebirth midwife in 1977 and continued helping moms who wanted a better birth experience. Jan started Midwifery Today in 1986 to spread the good word about midwifery care, using her experience to guide editorial and conferences. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies in the United States and around the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world!
I am humbled by this life God gave me to lead Midwifery Today. I have had the privilege of traveling to and putting on conferences in 20 different countries—attending, planning, and carrying out 86 conferences. I have also had the honor of planning, writing for, and helping produce 147 magazines, with a fantastic staff and excellent writers. It has been a long and winding road through efforts to change midwifery and birth. I am humbled by the joy, mostly, of getting to be the mother of Midwifery Today. Read more…. My 37-Year Midwifery Today Voyage
Photo by Caroline Brown
I have only had to do an internal bimanual compression one time. She was a redhead (although I do not believe redheads hemorrhage more). My partner, Monika, and I were at the birth, which progressed normally but was followed by a dreadful postpartum hemorrhage that followed the placenta. Read more…. From the Editor: Thoughts on Third Stage
Jan tells us about how she received her midwifery education, how it has changed over the years, and the role of Midwifery Today in educating midwives. Read more…. From the Editor: Aspects of Midwifery Education
It is astounding how much midwives and doulas love and appreciate the placenta, while the general public treats it with an “eewww” attitude. We think of it as an incredible though short-lived organ that through it produces a beautiful baby. Most of us teach our families the beauty and function of the placenta. Before or after we have checked it for missing Read more…. Jan’s Corner: The Gorgeous Placenta
Gail Hart at Eugene Conference 2005
Here is an interview with Gail Hart on Induction, Why? Why Not? Learning from the wisdom she shares.
Read more…. A Short Interview on Induction With Gail Hart
Photo from editorial issue #119
The face of Midwifery Today is changing. I am retiring. Midwifery Today (MT) needs to live on, so I have found the ideal midwife-visionary to carry her into the next years: Lois Wilson. You can read a bit of her story here. Read more…. From the Editor: Gratitude for Midwifery Today
Photo by Brytny
I remember when I first started midwifery in 1976—after my second child and first homebirth—I realized that being a midwife included so much more than prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care. We were counselors, nutritionists, life coaches (for a year, sometimes more). We were also childbirth educators and doulas (although that was not a word we knew back then). Our roles are many, diverse, and unique, depending on the mom we are working with. Read more…. Midwives’ Roles
Photo by Liv Bruce
So many women go into their birth experience with fear, rather than believing in the strength of their bodies or the matter-of-factness of birth. Jan and Harriette illustrate this changed view of women’s bodies with an example seen at an art showing. Read more…. From the Editor: Birth Evangelism
All four babies born and happily nursing.
What is it about midwives and doulas that we just love birth, all kinds of birth? When we are around birth we are just over the moon and mostly ready to tell the story of that birth. Read more…. Enthusiastic About Birth
Photo provided by author
Jan tells us about the conferences—US and international—being planned now that the pandemic has settled down. Read more…. It’s Conference Planning Time Again!
Photo by Nyana Stoica
A midwife is responsible for knowing and recalling all she is able about any complication that may arise. We have lives in our hands, so we want to know as many techniques for any given situation as we can. Most do not happen very frequently. Shoulder dystocia is one of our big ones; learning all we can and reviewing our knowledge base often is very important. Read more…. From the Editor: Complications and Fear
Photo by Scott Webb
Having my second baby at home truly changed the trajectory of my life. I had had an traumatic hospital birth the first time and was totally traumatized and guilt-ridden by it. I was planning to have a much better, un-interfered-with birth in the hospital when I met Dr. Tom Duncan. He talked me into having a homebirth. Imagine a doctor talking you into having a homebirth! It was providential. He ultimately did only three homebirths in Eugene, my hometown. It proved to be too far for him to travel, at about an hour-and-a-half. Read more…. Homebirth Changed My Life