Theme: The Future of Midwifery
We know where midwifery has been, but where is it headed? This issue shares a variety of perspectives on that question. From short responses to the question addressed by numerous birthworkers, to an editorial in Marion’s Message, to an in-depth discussion of the topic by Deb Puterbaugh and thoughts on the future of Midwifery Education by Vicki Penwell, this issue shares lots of ideas. It also includes great articles by frequent contributors Jane Beal, Sister MorningStar, and Nancy Wainer—and more!
Cover photo by Paige Driscoll (bayareabirthphotographer.com). Paige Driscoll is an award-winning photographer and doula, as well as a mother to five boys. She is a storyteller of real-life moments, specializing in birth and motherhood. She captures the most transformative time of your life in an artful way. The birth of her five boys were the most empowering experiences of her life, which led her down the path to becoming a birth worker. She is a certified doula and has training through Childbirth International and Dona International, and is a trained Hypnobabies doula. She holds a BA in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University and was an elementary school teacher before becoming a mother. She has documented over 250 births, each one so beautifully unique. Her full spectrum of personal birthing experiences ranges from hospital births to birthing at home and she is supportive of all birthing methods. Her goal is to help birthing parents feel confident, safe, and supported during their prenatal, birth, and postpartum journey while documenting their story. With her passion for birth and her extensive experience and expertise as a mother, photographer, and doula, she is able to support women in labor and capture the true rawness and beauty of birth as it unfolds.
Pictured: Taylor Monje welcoming her daughter: “The most freeing moment of my life. The most human I’ve ever felt. Bringing my daughter Earthside the way our bodies intended.”
- Editorial: Enthusiastic About Birth, by Jan Tritten
Midwifery Today’s Editor contrasts kitty birth with human birth and makes the point that midwives are still and will always be needed.
- Tricks of the Trade
- Quote of the Quarter
- Media Reviews
- Wisdom of the Midwives: The Future of Midwifery
- Midwifery and Childbirth News
- Photo Album
- Marion’s Message: The Future of Midwifery, by Marion Toepke McLean
Marion discusses how we are currently in the internationally-proclaimed Decade of the Midwife, yet we are seeing an increase in maternal mortality in the US. This piece doesn’t provide answers about the future of midwifery, but will give you food for thought.
- Narrative Medicine and the Renewal of Midwifery Practice in the Twenty-first Century, by Jane Beal
Jane Beal tells us the story of a Christmas birth, as an example of how birth stories are important for mothers and midwives.
- The Future of Midwifery Education, by Deb Puterbaugh
This article goes deep into the future of midwifery by first discussing the history of midwifery, and what midwifery really is, what women want, and how we should proceed.
- The Village Midwife Yesterday—Today—Tomorrow, by Sister MorningStar
Sister makes the case that if midwifery is to survive, we need to look to our forebears and we need to find the village of women who want to maintain their autonomy and personal power, and overcome fear.
- Future-Thinking Midwifery Education: Birthing the Midwives We Need, by Vicki Penwell
Everyone can agree that more midwives are needed. This well-known global midwifery educator makes the case that the practice of midwifery can improve if midwives are trained where they will be providing services to women, rather than in a different model.
- Weaving the Sacred into Clinical Practice in the Wake of a Global Pandemic, by Serena Russell
Serena Russell makes a case for including spiritual as well as clinical aspects in midwifery care.
- Expecting the Unexpected, by Jill Roper
The author illustrates with a complicated birth story how it is essential that midwives keep their emergency birth skills up to date.
- The Bottom Line, by Nancy Wainer
All births are different, and couples are different. Nancy Wainer shares a number of birth experiences she has participated in, discussing a variety of issues related to the “bottom line.”
- Coming Full Circle: My Return to Midwifery, by Lois Wilson
There is no set age for midwifery. This short piece discusses the author’s return to her beloved vocation after 20 years away.
- “The Birth of St. John the Baptist” by Jane Beal
Another great historical midwifery piece by frequent contributor Jane Beal.
- Natural After-Death Care: Completing the Circle of Midwifery, by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
The beginning of life and the end of life have a lot of parallels. The author shares some after death care that she has experienced.
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