Midwifery Today Issue 123

Issue 123

Autumn 2017

Theme: Midwifery Education
Are you considering becoming a midwife or already starting down that path? This issue of Midwifery Today will help you think more deeply about your educational path and options. You’ll find articles on various programs in the US and abroad from some well-known midwifery educators, such as Elizabeth Davis, Vicky Penwell and Deb Puterbaugh.

You will also be able to read a great clinical article on first trimester bleeding from Judy Slome Cohain, one on placenta encapsulation by Valerie Coppenrath and a fantastic “Wisdom of the Midwives” column dealing with shoulder dystocia. Issue 123 also includes our first “Doula Corner,” which recognizes another important member of the birth team.

Cover photo by Vanessa Mendez (vanessamendezphotography.com). Vanessa has been married for five years and is a mother to two amazing children. She works as a mortgage loan officer by day and birth photographer whenever she gets the chance. Birth photography started as a passion while she worked toward doula certification. Vanessa found her creative eye while capturing amazing moments during labor, birth and postpartum. She serves San Antonio and surrounding areas and has traveled over two hours for births.

Pictured: Sometimes Vanessa looks at this picture and wonders how it is real. It is so calm and peaceful and if you’ve ever been to a birth you know there is chaos all around. It seems that in this moment, everyone stood back and time stood still. Mom got to take a deep breath and embrace her little girl while dad got to hold his whole world in his hands. This will always be one of Vanessa’s favorite images.


  • Poetry
  • From the Editor
    Editor Tritten shares her perspective on midwifery education in this editorial.
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Marion’s Message
    Why is the maternal mortality rate so high? This columnist shares the story of one mother’s death and offers ideas on the causes of the problem.
  • The Doula Corner
    Midwifery Today conference coordinator Shea Hardy Baker introduces our new feature, The Doula Corner. The Doula corner “will offer topics relevant to doulas, highlighting the amazing work being done by doulas around the world, articles submitted by doulas and research on doula care.”
  • Wisdom of the Midwives
    How Do You Prevent Shoulder Dystocia?” In this column, midwives discuss causes, prevention and dealing with shoulder dystocia in a birth.
  • Midwifery and Childbirth News
  • Media Reviews
  • Photo Album
  • Classified Advertising


  • Midwifery Education for Autonomous Practice: The Time Is Now!Elizabeth Davis
    Well-known midwife and educator Elizabeth Davis, BA, CPM, challenges aspiring midwives to evaluate their midwifery education program by looking into themselves and asking what kind of midwife they would want at birth and whether their midwifery program is preparing them to be that kind of midwife. She reviews the various education models and then posits a number of questions to help the reader evaluate whether the education program meets their needs. The article is thought provoking not only for midwifery students but for educators.
  • Midwifery in the Land of UtopiaMichel Odent
    Dr. Odent writes about how midwifes would be selected in the Land of Utopia, a place that was introduced by his book Childbirth in the Land of Utopia.
  • The Pivotal Opportunities of the Midwifery Apprenticeship Model—Marcy Andrew
    There are many ways for a birthing mom to get her contractions going naturally and without medical interventions. Andrew shares with us some of the advantages of the apprenticeship model of midwifery education in teaching students about the individuality of each woman and being open about what might work for her.
  • Midwifery Apprenticeship in the United Kingdom: Where Homebirth Choice Is Protected as a Human Right—Nikki Williams
    Midwife and birth photographer Nikki Williams shares her nontraditional path to midwifery and educates us on midwifery in the UK along the way.
  • The Beginnings of a Student Midwife—Brooke Collier
    For some, the journey to becoming a midwife is a winding road. Collier shares her path, which was not always the most direct.
  • The Future of Midwifery Education: Midwives Defining MidwiferyDeb Puterbaugh
    Puterbaugh makes the argument that midwives should be the ones to determine the future of midwifery education and puts the call out to organize so that we may have our voices heard.
  • India’s Fierce Wimyn and YouSister MorningStar
    Sister MorningStar beautifully shares the transformative experience she underwent regarding her thinking about birth at a conference in India.
  • What an Admissions Director Looks for in a Potential Midwifery StudentKristen Benoit
    This practical article provides a template for success for aspiring midwives applying to a midwifery program.
  • Doulas and Midwives: Transforming the Landscape, TogetherCourtney L. Everson and Melissa Cheyney
    The authors make the case for midwives and doulas working together to change the current system of childbirth.
  • When Grandma Is a MidwifeMarlene Waechter
    When you are a homebirth midwife with a lot of kids of your own, how they choose to give birth may not quite fit with how you had envisioned it. Waechter shares her compelling personal story, with a focus on the need to support your children in their own journeys.
  • Dar a Luz Honduras—Silvia Bahr
    Birth in Honduras is improving, in part, thanks to the author and her German nonprofit organization. Read about how educating doctors, nurses and birthing mothers is Bahr’s calling and life’s work and learn about birth practices in Honduras.
  • Mercy in Action College of Midwifery: The Long Road to AccreditationVicki Penwell
    The Long Road to Accreditation” by Vicky Penwell. From Alaska to Idaho, with the whole world in between, Mercy in Action has trained midwives. Founder Vicky Penwell shares the journey to MEAC accreditation.
  • The Herbal Education of MidwivesSusun Weed
    This long-time educator on the use of herbs in midwifery shares her knowledge on why they are helpful, along with some of the specific herbs that are useful and how they are used.
  • Judith Wilks: “The Queen’s Trusty Midwife” (1688–1689)Jane Beal
    This story in the continuing historical series by Jane Beal recounts how the Queen’s midwife had to deal with much more than just assisting with delivering babies.
  • First Trimester Bleeding Is CommonJudy Slome Cohain
    Many women experience bleeding in the first trimester but do not miscarry, yet few studies have evaluated it. Slome Cohain parses the medical evidence, concluding that first trimester bleeding is usually of no consequence.
  • My Experience with Placenta Encapsulation—Valerie Coppenrath
    Pharmacist Valerie Coppenrath shares her experience and thoughts on placenta encapsulation.

= Membership Article.

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