Nancy Wainer, CPM, has been a midwife since 1998 and involved in birth for much longer. She co-founded the first cesarean awareness and prevention organization in the world and coined the term VBAC. Her landmark book, Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and VBAC, won an award for the best book in the field of health and medicine. She attends births, trains student midwives, and is currently working diligently on her third book, Birthquake! A Childbirth Book for Strong Women and Women Who Want to Be Strong.
Photo by Juan Encalada
There is a nursery rhyme that goes “Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.”
Read more…. A Thousand Hats: Each Midwife’s Role(s)
Photo by Aditya Romansa
I wish I could show you the VHS (a type of videotape) I have from back in the day when there were no cell phones with which to film births. It is of the birth of Gregory, an almost-10 lb first baby born to a couple in my area. The birth was lovely.
Read more…. The Bottom Line
Photo by Kevin Keith
Many homebirth midwives found that their telephones were ringing more often than usual sometime during the spring of this year. Couples who had planned to have their babies in the hospital were re-thinking that decision due to the Covid-19 virus. We began hearing certain themes: “I don’t want to go into a place where all the sick people are going.” “I don’t want to be separated from my husband/partner.” “My labor assistant (notice that I did not use the word doula, as my Greek friends tell me that the word is derogatory) can’t be with me; she would have to drop me off at the door at just the time when I would most likely need her the most.” “I am scared to be among people who have been exposed to so many others who may have been, or may become, ill.”
Read more…. Homebirth in the Time of Covid
Photo by Kelly Sikkema
Each day is one day closer to your meeting your baby—how exciting! We all want to do whatever we can to make it the safest, calmest, and most wonderful time it can be.
Read more…. Letter to My Soon-to-be Parents—As We Negotiate These Unusual Times….
Photo by Nancy Wainer
If you say “Just take an Uber!” or “Call Lyft,” to most people in this country, they not only know what you are talking about, but how to do it. Me? I haven’t a clue. I haven’t taken public transportation—not a taxi, not a bus, not the “T” (I live in Boston)—in 30 years.
Read more…. A Midwife and Her Wheels
Photo by Volkan Olmez
Women can suffer from postpartum depression for a variety of reasons. Using real stories and common sense, Wainer helps us get to the root of some of the causes and how birthworkers can help them. Read more…. There You See It, There You Don’t? Postpartum Depression
Photo by Pattie O’Loughlin
I have been asked to write about the first stage of labor and I will, I promise. However, this topic cannot be discussed without also talking about related matters, so please bear with me as we travel in and out from 1 cm to the big 10 (or, in the case of a breech baby, 11!).
Read more…. Leaving the Farmhouse: Musings on the First Stage of Labor
When I agreed to have a cesarean, was I really making a choice? First of all, I, the chooser, was not truly informed; second, my doctor lied to me. Third, my insurance company limited my choices in many ways. Read more…. VBAC and Choice: Many Questions and a Few Answers
VBAC. A victory and a relief for most of the women who have one. A deep and generous healing for many of them. And still, very much a sham, because most of the women never really needed to be cut in the first place, so they didn’t really need to be VBACs after all. Read more…. A Butcher’s Dozen