Midwifery Today Issue 140

Issue 140

Winter 2021

Midwifery Today Issue 140Theme: Interventions

Interventions have become standard in the vast majority of births, largely because obstetricians are involved in most births. This issue discusses various interventions, as well as not intervening—and what we gain or lose. This issue also includes two birth stories from different perspectives, as well more great articles, media reviews, and editorials.

Cover painting by Amanda Greavette (amandagreavette.com). is an artist who lives and works in Ontario, Canada. Her primary artistic practice is figurative oil painting, focusing on women.  She studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design and has exhibited in many solo and group shows.  Currently she is in studio full time and is raising five beautiful children in a rural, off-grid lifestyle. Amanda was a La Leche League leader for many years and a founding member of “Friends of Muskoka Midwives,” one of the few midwifery advocacy consumer groups in Ontario. Amanda loves to attend births for family and friends.

The cover painting is part of Amanda’s The Birth Project series, which portrays pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. These profound life events shape and change identity, sometimes initiating a metamorphosis or refining by fire. This physical, emotional, and spiritual awakening is the perfect landscape to explore universal experiences like pain, euphoria, transcendence, and the welcoming of new life. Each painting is inspired by documentation of a real birth, some experienced firsthand and some drawn from voluntary storytelling and sharing. A visual narrative is then created that realistically and symbolically represents women’s actual stories. Often heavy with emotion and beauty, the images are open-ended in interpretation to encourage a connection with each viewer.  Sensuous imagery may trigger the imagination or provoke a personal response, drawing us into a shared experience from what is typically intimate and private. This series can currently be viewed online and has been exhibited at many birth-related conferences and shows around Canada and the US.

The family, who commissioned the painting, were first-time parents, and the birth was described as a “beautiful, perfect homebirth,” even with a severe shoulder dystocia and resuscitation, which Samm says was resolved “with ease by our incredible midwife.” At the time the mother, Samm, was a midwifery student and birthworker, and has since become a homebirth midwife, with two beautiful children.  They currently live in New Jersey.

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