Issue 66

Marion’s Message: Making the Best of the Birth Environment

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 66, Spring 2006.Join Midwifery Today Online Membership Selena and Mac are country people.* I attended their births early in my career and learned a lot from them, especially when they had Sophia, their third baby and first daughter. Mac didn’t believe in hospitals or doctors. He and I had lengthy debates and I had pointed out to him that he went right to the emergency room when his leg was broken. However, he saw that as somehow different from childbirth. I made sure he knew what my protocols were and what kinds of situations I believed were safer in the hospital. Sophia turned to a breech position when she was 32 weeks along and Selena started doing the tilt board and some acupressure points to encourage her to return to head first. My phone rang a little after six one morning. It was Selena and her voice was a tearful wail. “I’m in labor!” she said. “I’ve been having cramps all night and I’ve been telling myself I ate something bad, ’cause I’ve had a little diarrhea too. But it’s not that! I can feel the pressure! Can you come and see if I’m in labor?” “I’ll be right there!” I replied. I pulled her chart from my files. Just as I thought, she was not yet quite 36 weeks. And possibly still breech! Hurriedly, I dressed and drove to their home. Selena was lying on the thick rug in their living room, her legs propped up on a big pillow. A quick exam revealed the irregular presenting part of a complete breech, covered by the taut, smooth surface of the waterbag. No cervix could be felt. “You’re complete,” I said. “And the baby’s still breech. And premature, Selena.” “What… Read more…. Marion’s Message: Making the Best of the Birth Environment

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The Sacred Place Of Birth

Since the 1960s, there has been a lot written about the place to have a baby. The “safety” lobby has pushed more and more for all hospital births, while, with a strength of its own, the “normality” lobby has pulled birth back into the home. The debate about whether home is best has continued in and out of the newspapers and professional journals, with women supporting the desire for choice to birth in either area.

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The Atmosphere Of Homebirth

The prenatal care and education has been given. The relaxation exercises have been repeated over and over again. Instructions for the timing of a contraction are neatly typed on a paper taped to the refrigerator. A list of “who to call” is taped beside it. All the preparations are in place and labor begins.

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Anything Goes

I’ve been a student of midwifery for about eight years now. During this time, I have gone from two to four children, had the privilege of attending 26 births and taught many childbirth classes. I’ve seen a lot of different birth environments, and I’ve had some time to think about what makes a positive one. I’m sure the right answer is most anything does! Certainly, we can look at the factors that are embraced by the majority of birthing women and make some loose assumptions.

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Take Birth Back

The colonizing countries dominated birth with destructive medicalization at a time when Western powers were decimating cultures. Medicalization rode on the wave of imperialism. This force is still going today and is an effective tool used against normal, instinctive birth. Read more…. Take Birth Back

International Networking

Here at Midwifery Today, we have been working hard on our country contacts. The goal is to have a contact person or persons in every country of the world. Read more…. International Networking

Wise Words in the Netherlands

The powerful experience of being part of this conference is not easy to put into words. It was about being with midwives who are strong, wise women, who care about one another and about having those feelings awakened in us. Read more…. Wise Words in the Netherlands

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