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Midwifery Today Issue Number 89 (Spring 2009) Midwifery Knowledge from around the World
International Midwifery, Back Issues
 
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Theme: Midwifery Knowledge from around the World

When we came up with this theme, we anticipated being able to share a variety of midwifery knowledge from around the world. While a number of articles addressed that, one thing that soon became clear is that midwifery knowledge is beginning to be lost or fall into disuse around the world, as the medicalized version of childbirth continues to gain ground. This issue contains a mix of midwifery knowledge as well as discussion of the adverse effects of this medicalization of birth.

Articles include:

  • Marion's Message: Does it Matter How We Are Born?, by Marion Toepke McLean. The author argues that midwives need to be aware that it does matter what happens during our birth so they can do the best job possible.
  • The Life and Work of a Rope Midwife in Darfur, by Ramona Denk. This fictional composite is an account of the life and work of an imaginary traditional midwife in a Darfur village. It is based on multiple sources of information, including direct experience, observation, personal interviews and the research of others.
  • The Emotional Impact of Cesareans, by Pamela Udy. This is part two of a two-part series by the President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), discussing the postpartum impact of cesareans on women and their families. This should be must-reading for all women who are considering a cesarean.
  • Enoch's Waterbirth after Four C-sections, by April Bailey. A midwife in Hawaii tells the birth story of aVBAC waterbirth after four cesareans.
  • Meeting by Chance with a Modern Day Che (A Fireside Chat with a Cuban Obstetrician, 2007), by Ruby Weldon. We often hear conflicting reports on the situation in Cuba. This article highlights the current status of birthing in that country, from the mouth of a Cuban obstetrician.
  • The Influence of Birth Experience on Postpartum Depression, by Michelle Bland. It seems obvious that homebirth moms would experience a lower rate of postpartum depression than women with institutional births. Michelle Bland shares her research in this article, which showed that the participants in the homebirth group had the lowest rates of depression, felt the most control over their birth experiences and were the most satisfied.
  • The Good Guys: Michael C. Klein, by Judy Slome Cohain. Another chapter in our ongoing feature on "good guy" obstetricians.
  • Keeping the Midwifery Legacy Alive, by Nell Tharpe. The author creates a roadmap for keeping the traditions of midwifery alive.
  • The Midwife, by Jacqueline Cuthbertson. A lovely piece on the midwife and the current state of midwifery.
  • Husband-assisted Homebirth, by John Paul. A couple chooses to go it alone for the birth of their daughter.
  • Birthing in South Africa, by Linda B. Jenkins. This short piece contrasts current birth practices in South Africa in a variety of settings.
  • Why Music Matters in Childbirth, by Taz Tagore. Music has a central place in the lives of many of us, and it is an essential part of some birth plans. The author discusses the research and her experiences of music and birth, along with some helpful suggestions.
  • Brona, by Darjee Sahala. This story of a stillborn baby, and the unexpected repercussions for his midwife mother, will evoke both sadness and anger in readers.
  • Tradition, Birth and the Kitchen to Cook It All In, by Naoli Vinaver. The author, a Mexican midwife, laments the loss of birth knowledge that had been passed through generations of women like a family recipe. She also gives pointers on how to have the best experience when going to a developing country to learn midwifery skills or assist birthing women.
  • Informed Consent, reprinted from AIMS Journal. This is a parody of a consent form that hospitals would require if they were really being honest about their childbirth practices.
  • The Nuchal Cord at Birth: What Do Midwives Think and Do?, by Elaine Jefford, Kathleen Fahy and Deborah Sundin. Routinely checking for the nuchal cord is a common medical intervention in birth. Some evidence shows damage to the baby and mother. Results from the authors' study reflect the training midwives have received and their current practices in relation to a possible nuchal cord at birth.
  • Traditional Mentoring, by Maryl Smith. A great article for all aspiring or practicing midwives, providing important advice on mentoring.
  • Traditional Midwives and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Countries with Low Resources, by Kezaabu Edwidge. A discussion of the current policy direction regarding traditional midwives as providers of childbirth services in Uganda and other countries with low resources.

View complete Table of Contents here.


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