My journey to truly woman-centered birthing has been a gradual one. Like so many women in the US, my birth history isn’t without disappointment. My first labor ended in the operating room, far from the drug-free labor my husband and I had prepared for. During my second pregnancy I joined the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), learned about the impact of fetal position on labor and delivery, changed obstetricians and fought for and had a drug-free hospital VBAC.
Read more…. A Midwife’s Gift: Olivia’s Birth Story
Photo by Eduardo Tdp
En Petén, Guatemala, se encuentra la comunidad Caribe Rubel Tzul compuesta de varias Aldeas. Esta es una comunidad de 25,000 indígenas desplazados cerca de la frontera con México. El hospital más cercano queda a 4 hrs. a pie, su mediomás común de transporte (Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigacíon, Inc. [ICI]).
Read more…. Guatemala: Simple y Pertinente
Sometimes family and friends don’t want to hear about the difficulties that new mothers have to deal with after a cesarean, instead saying, “At least you have a healthy baby.” Pamela Udy, President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), addresses the physical impact that cesarean surgery can have on women. In the next issue, she will address the emotional impact. Read more…. The Physical Impact of Cesareans
Photo by Eduardo Tdp
The community Caribe Rubel Tzul, which is composed of several villages, is located in Petén, Guatemala. This is a community of 25,000 displaced indigenous people close to the Méxican border. The closest hospital is within a four-hour walking distance, the most common means of transportation (Communitarian Initiative of Investigation [ICI]).
Read more…. Guatemala: Simple & Relevant
Photos provided by the author
April 20, 2008, at 3 am, a flow of water rushed out of me—my waters had broken. Immediately following, contractions began to come every one to two minutes, lasting up to a minute or more each time. We called our midwife, Ruli (a 69-year-old veteran with 300 births and six children of her own under her belt), who lived three hours away in the interior of the island, Orocovis. She let me know that she was on her way and to relax. Between sleep and waking, we timed each contraction and slept during the breaks.
Read more…. My Birthing Experience: Inti Imani Albarracin-Miranda
My introduction to International Midwife Assistance (IMA) came in 2006 when I spent three weeks as a volunteer in their Community Midwife Training Program in Bamiyan province, Afghanistan. IMA offers a high level of people-to-people assistance, with almost no bureaucracy. Our services were direct, personal and highly valued by the recipients.
Read more…. Marion’s Message: International Midwife Assistance
For many women, giving birth causes stress and anxiety. For women with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the stress of giving birth can trigger panic attacks. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 6.8 million American adults are affected by GAD (USDHHS 2007). Anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as men and usually are first diagnosed in early adulthood, which makes their effects relevant when caring for childbearing women.
Read more…. Pregnancy and Birth with Generalized Anxiety Disorder
One year ago this week our son Sage was born. As I sit and watch the morning winter sky come to life, shades of pink and golden hues reveal themselves through the light mist of the recent rains. I feel a sense of peace. Deep gratitude fills my heart as I reflect on our family experience over the past year.
Read more…. The Birth of Sage—A Homebirth Reflection
Every calling to midwifery is different. This essay describes the author’s transformation to the profession she likes best of all. Read more…. The Call to Midwifery
Illustration by Robert Smale
Abstract: “Mars Attacks” is a new term coined to describe unjustified violation of women by care providers at the time of birth, as well as the purposeful abandonment of the peer review system by major obstetric journals and the abandonment of the use of research evidence by ACOG in their latest protocols, in order to justify continued use of this form of violence against women.
Read more…. Mars Attacks
Jan tells two amazing midwives serving the Amish and Mennonite communities. Read more…. Mollie and Mary