Monday, October 22, 2007

A totally rockin' breastfeeding article!!

Dr. Jack Newman and Edith Kernerman talk about breastfeeding and answer mothers' questions here.

A little long, but well worth the read. There were some really choice quotes from Dr. Newman in here!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dr. John

If you have never read any of Dr. John Stevenson's writing, then here is a gem to start with.


Sunday, October 07, 2007


I have been spending the last few days really considering what I want this blog to become.

I have such a hard-to-beat inclination to talk about what other midwives do/don't do in a critical way, mainly due to my own struggle to come to grips with the reality of maternity care, midwives included.

But, I don't want this blog to be about my judgement (that is what it is, essentially) of others. I want this blog to be about my own journey as a midwife and my own ideas. More "I" statements than "they" statements. LOL!

Often I feel compelled to post here about various topics because of an encounter with someone or something that I am in disagreement with. So, I will have to carefully check my tendencies to rant on and on about such things because I have been feeling like there is enough out there on the net and in books that bashes what others are doing. I want my blog to approach birth and midwifery from a positive light, spoken more from my heart and mind.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

birth magazines

I'm not sure if Midwifery Today has changed, or if it is my perspective that has changed, but I can no longer devour each new edition that comes out and be left feeling excited and content.

I still love Midwifery Today, of course, and have great respect for their publication and recognize them as the great resource that they are. But lately, almost every article I read in each new edition makes me cringe at some point.

I know I have said it before, but it feels like the more I read other midwives' work or talk with other midwives, the more it has become glaringly obvious how far on the fringe I am in regards to my approach to birth.

I am tired of hearing midwives say that they trust birth and that birth is a normal and natural process, when they turn right around and start trying to convince everyone about how their interventions to 'help' the situation was natural because it only involved their hands (not a knife) and how midwives are needed to save birth, and so on. If birth works so well, then why do some midwives consider it dangerous to give birth with no trained professional?

I have to say....what is up with all of the bed births? Seriously! I'm not just talking about the birth pictures always featured on the inside back cover (which are almost always in bed, with lots of hands on the baby's crowning head and perineum), but about the birth stories themselves. I know that there are women who truly do choose to give birth laying down, and that is fine by me, but I am positive that they are in the very small minority. I think that more often than not, the bed becomes the chosen birth place because it is never presented to the woman as the least ideal place for giving birth (physiologically speaking). Though, again, I don't think that the birth pictures are a reflection of Midwifery Today's philosophy, but probably they print whichever pictures are received, and most of what they receive are bed births.

I am still a devoted reader of Midwifery Today, and I have been wanting to write an article to submit, as I don't think it is productive if all I do is complain about the situation. I have been brain-storming all night about which topic I should write about. Really, my issue I suppose lies more with the reality that I am facing: that the majority of midwives out there from what I can tell approach midwifery and birth very differently than I do. This is something that I am having a hard time coming to grips with, I suppose.

Elephant Suckling

"Elephant milk looks rather thin and watery but it is very nourishing and babies put on weight at a rate of 22-44 lb per month. They tend to suckle little and often."

From Eyewitness Books: Elepahant

Our mammal sisters have so much to teach us.


Everyone has heard a story of a birth where the perineum was "tight" and just wouldn't stretch to allow the head to be fully born, and the midwife (or doctor) just had to either cut an episiotomy (it makes me wince to even consider) or massage it back around the baby's head.

Does this make biological sense? This makes as much sense as saying that a baby won't breath properly if not suctioned. ????
Um, no.

Any perineum that hasn't been mutilated by
FGM will stretch as needed to birth a baby. Perhaps those women who have these so called 'tight' perineums need to be given more privacy, perineums unobserved, to give birth.

Sort of how our vaginas are soft and open up to our lover's touch but tense up when a stranger inserts a speculum.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

conference fun

I really love going to conferences. Meeting new people, catching up with old friends, hearing speakers on hopefully amazing topics. It just makes me happy.

I am lucky enough to live within a reasonable driving distance of the Gentle Birth World Congress conference which happened this last weekend. Though I only registered for the neonatal resuscitation training during a pre-conference session, I ended up spending Thursday through Sunday there, just hanging out, talking with people, walking around the free baby expo, and seeing the (free) birth and breastfeeding videos. I drove lots and lots of miles to make it happen, but it was fun and totally worth it! I say that even though I didn't actually attend any of the conference sessions. lol!

It just makes me even more excited about the Trust Birth Conference happenings!