Midwifery Today Issue 72

Issue 72

Winter 2004

Midwifery Today Issue 72Theme: Prematurity and Postmaturity

Cover photo by Lesley Mason This is the second of her births that Mary (featured on the cover) has invited me to photograph. I have a 15-month-old son and can truly appreciate the strength of birthing women. I feel so privileged to attend every birth. I have been photographing birth for more than six years and have my own business—New Life Photography. I photograph babies, families, pregnancy and birth.
Lesley Mason

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  • Poetry
  • From the Editor
    Experience, pain, culture, history, personality and spirituality create differences in our views. This incredible tapestry of abilities and views makes for a rich community of midwives. When we work together we create an unstoppable force.
  • Networking
  • Tricks of the Trade
  • Question of the Quarter
  • Marion’s Message: A Time to Be Born
    In 2004 I served as midwife for a dear family. I thought a lot about the time to be born, as the due date came and went. Is there a time designated for us to come into the world? “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven,” says the Holy Bible. “A time to be born and a time to die.”
  • Media Reviews
  • News
  • Classified Advertising
  • Calendar
  • Photo Album


  • A Timely BirthGail Hart
    The timing of birth has major consequences. Although few babies are born at the extremes of a normal pregnancy term, much prenatal care is based on bringing babies to birth “in a timely fashion”—neither too early nor too late. But our understanding of “timely” is clouded, and some of our methods are self-defeating.
  • Prematurity Is Preventable!Amy V. Haas, BA, BCCE
    Adequate nutrition prevents prematurity in many ways: by boosting the immune system to prevent infections that can cause chorioamniotitis and premature rupture of membranes; by supplying the body with the nutrients to support a full-term pregnancy; by supplying the liver with adequate protein, preventing preeclampsia.
  • The Tree and the FruitMichel Odent
    A baby in the womb can be compared to fruit on the tree. Not all the fruit on the same tree is ripe at the same time. It is the same with a baby. If you have an apple tree, you will listen to your common sense and choose an individualized and selective approach: you will not pick all the apples on the same day.
  • Antioxidants and PreeclampsiaJennifer Enoch, MS, CNM
    Research has elucidated a connection between antioxidants and preeclampsia. Compared to healthy pregnant women, preeclamptic women have low levels of several dietary antioxidants in their blood, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene and beta-carotene. Look for foods with deep colors and strong flavors.
  • GBS, Pregnancy and Garlic—Judy Slome Cohain, CNM, MS
    Garlic kills GBS, but because no profit can be made from its use, no research exists on the use of garlic to prevent GBS in newborns. Women are encouraged to consider following the protocols described in this article as a proactive way to research the use of garlic to prevent newborn GBS disease.
  • Does Mother Nature Really Make Mistakes?Katherine Jensen, CNMi class=”memheart”> 
    Early in my rural practice, I worked with a physician who insisted, “Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.” I watched one woman go four weeks past her very certain due date. Another went six weeks past the day we were certain she was due. I was a wreck. But my mentor was right. Mother Nature does know what she’s doing.
  • The Power of WordsSandra Gonzalez-Parisi, CD (DONA) 
    I delivered my son after a journey that had spanned 14 years and taken me down a road filled with disappointment and distrust….Words have such a strong and lasting impact. It’s so important to support a positive experience in pregnancy and labor. I will be eternally grateful that a midwife provided this for me.
  • HIV BasicsNancy Miller 
    Not much can be more horrible than a disease that turns our lovemaking and the milk that pours from our breasts to nourish our babies into means of transmitting a lethal virus. I invite you to become passionate about knowing about this disease so you can help women protect themselves and their babies from it.
  • Just How Long Is “Normal” for Labour?Astrid Osbourne 
    Helen defied traditional knowledge. Traditional care would consider Helen, having her first baby at 44 years of age, high risk. Traditionally, homebirth would be considered very risky and waterbirth as pain relief inadequate. Helen had no complications. Her 24-hour labour was neither exhausting nor debilitating.
  • The 30-Minute Third StageGloria Lemay 
    My students and I don’t anticipate the placenta will be pushed out for 30 minutes after birth. The “mood” is maintained. We offer the mother a warm herbal tea. We don’t disturb the attachment that happens naturally or push sucking at the breast. I have used this method for years, with less than a 1% haemorrhage rate.
  • The Birth of a MidwifeMarlene Waechter, CPM, RN 
    I never thought much about childbirth until I became pregnant in 1970. I naively expected to have a normal, natural birth. I never quite understood why I was expected to see a doctor and go to the hospital. I believed God designed our bodies to give birth, and I trusted in that design. I was not sick; I was pregnant.
  • In Memoriam: Maureen Mitchell—Sarah Carson
    Maureen Mitchell began her midwifery apprenticeship 25 years ago in the Monterey area of central California. What started as an interest in self-care as a pregnant woman blossomed into a lifelong passion for helping women birth at home. She has been, and will continue to be, greatly missed.
  • Freedom from FearPiper Martin BEd, DS HomMed 
    Aconite is a homeopathic remedy used to treat fear. It is such an intense and vivid remedy that situations calling for it are easy to spot. The individual’s response is usually equally vital, so you will know you have chosen the right remedy quickly.
  • The Business of Midwifery: Coding 1—Linda Lieberman, CNM, MSN
    Coding for health care services is a system created collaboratively by government and institutional entities that allows for consistency in billing. If Jane Doe fits a cervical cap and gets paid by the insurer, can Mary Doe do the same? It’s trickier than you think.
  • Cultural Lack of Birth Experience Empowers Media Representations, Not Women—Colleen Bak
    If the message sent to the public continues to portray birth as a frightening medical procedure, how will women come to trust their bodies and resist interventions? If birth with drugs in hospitals continues to be normalized in the media, how will women understand the benefits of midwifery in out-of-hospital settings?
  • Holistic Evaluation of Healing after Cesarean BirthNell Tharpe, MS, CNM, CRNFA 
    Avoiding repeat cesarean means becoming skilled in evaluating and caring for women who desire VBAC and educating about the risks, benefits and alternatives to both repeat cesarean and VBAC. Furthermore, midwives need to know how women heal after cesarean delivery and what they can do to foster the healing process.
  • To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate: Rubella and the Adult WomanBeth Bergeron 
    With increasing information about the potential hazards of immunizations, many wonder whether it is safer to be immunized or risk contracting a disease. This dilemma becomes real for the woman of childbearing age who discovers that she is non-immune to rubella.

International Midwife

  • Cards & Letters
  • Standard Term of Pregnancy—What Is It?—Viviane Lemaigre Dubreuil
    Contributors to this article responded to the questions: “What is considered normal ‘term’ in your region? At what point is there pressure to induce, based on pregnancy length alone, in an otherwise normal pregnancy?” The most significant answer, in my opinion, is from The Netherlands, where physiology is a priority.
  • Priya’s BirthSuma Starkie 
    Govinda called me around 9 am to say that Leela’s waters had broken at 1 am. They had had a very gentle and beautiful night together and had even been for a walk and quiet sit outside around dawn. By the time I got there, Leela’s contractions were already five minutes apart, getting stronger and closer together.
  • Berta Juarez FuentesSarah Proechel
    Berta is a midwife in San Juan Ostuncalco, Guatemala. Berta was born in San Juan in 1966 and has lived there her entire life. Her midwifery career began at the age of 18. With barely three months of theory behind her and never having so much as witnessed a birth, Bertha had her first patient, her mother.

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