Marion Toepke McLean, CNM, attended her first birth as primary midwife in August 1971. She received her nursing degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1966 and her midwifery and family nurse practitioner degree from Frontier Nursing Service in 1974. From 1976 through 2001 she did home, clinic and hospital births, while also working as a family nurse practitioner. In 1980 she taught a year-long program for local midwives, returning to Frontier Nursing Service to teach during the summer. She had a homebirth practice until 1985, when she went to work at the Nurse-Midwifery Birthing Service, a freestanding birth center. In June 2000 she completed a BA in International Studies at the University of Oregon, with concentrated studies on Mexico. Since 2002 she has worked in a reproductive health clinic and attended an occasional homebirth. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is a contributing editor to Midwifery Today.
This midwife is on the cusp of change. The day before yesterday, December 31, I worked my last day at Planned Parenthood. At midnight, as 2009 changed to 2010 and the younger generation set off fireworks in the barnyard, I became a retired person—social security-qualified and all!
Read more…. Changing Childbirth: The Midwife & the Phoenix
Jennifer had once told me, “I don’t do births in Africa,” leaving this to an excellent staff of Ugandan midwives. But on that lucky morning, she got a stuck baby born and saved a life. Read more…. A Difficult Breech Birth
Marion discusses the use of the partograph in developing countries.
Read more…. The Midwife and the Partograph
Marion shares her experiences as a volunteer in Uganda.
Read more…. Working in the Safe Motherhood Clinic
The author argues that midwives need to be aware that it does matter what happens during our birth so they can do the best job possible.
Read more…. Does It Matter How We Were Born?
My introduction to International Midwife Assistance (IMA) came in 2006 when I spent three weeks as a volunteer in their Community Midwife Training Program in Bamiyan province, Afghanistan. IMA offers a high level of people-to-people assistance, with almost no bureaucracy. Our services were direct, personal and highly valued by the recipients.
Read more…. Marion’s Message: International Midwife Assistance
When I was 21 years old and newly graduated from a Bachelor of Science nursing program, I had enough money left in my college fund to go to Europe for a few months. A woman friend and I went to Paris where I studied French at the Sorbonne and lived well on $150 per month. I learned about politics, philosophy and life. Some old sayings seemed more meaningful in French, like, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Read more…. Marion’s Message: Plus ça change…
Photo by Nathan Dumlao
Sharing our birth stories is one way of teaching midwives their trade. Marion tells the story of a frank breech presentation, describing the steps in how the birth occurred.
Read more…. Marion’s Message: The Safest Kind of Breech
Marion critiques the outcome of the NIH’s recent conference on “Cesarean on Maternal Request.”
Read more…. Marion’s Message: Cesarean on Maternal Request