I became very interested in the exchange of international knowledge and techniques having to do with birth when as a young midwife I had a personal experience with shoulder dystocia. I ended up reading how to resolve it when I was right in the middle of a birth! It was Ina May Gaskin's description of a technique she had learned from Guatemalan midwives: simply have the woman turn onto her hands and knees. Now known as the Gaskin Maneuver, it may have saved this baby's life. It works--try it!
When we study cross culturally, we find systems and ways we may want to emulate. By learning what your colleagues from other countries are doing, you too can improve your practice and change birth. You learn of the far reaching power of women in birth when you break the shackles of your own culture. And because birth has become a medical event rather than a social-spiritual rite of passage, we are all needed as birth change agents.
Midwifery Today can help you get involved in making global connections. Our directory of birth practitioners from around the world is filled with names of people interested in making connections. You can join the 327 practitioners from 33 countries by filling out one of our international forms. You can also purchase the directory for $20, or $18 if you are a Midwifery Today subscriber. For the last ten issues, Midwifery Today has included an international section of at least 20 pages. As well, two back issues--numbers 13 and 25--are dedicated entirely to international midwifery. We still have back copies of International Midwife, a stand-alone magazine: get all seven for $25 plus shipping.
Midwifery Today also brings birth practitioners together for wonderful international conferences. Our next one is in London on Sept. 9-13, 1999, and is titled Evidence Based Midwifery. You can still register and walk-ins are welcome. Our Jamaica conference is Dec. 1-6, 1999. The full program is in your Midwifery Today catalog, mailed this summer; email email@example.com if you don't have one. At international conferences you have the opportunity to learn and share in depth from a cross cultural perspective as well as make friends from all over the world. Midwifery Today brings you teachers and classes from this perspective at our domestic conferences as well. The next one is in Philadelphia, March 23-27, 2000. The program is ready and you can email for it as well.
This letter from Venus Mark from Trinidad describes what we are trying to achieve: "We cannot demonstrate our appreciation enough to the Midwifery Today staff for what we, the midwives of Trinidad and Tobago, received from you in October 1996 [at the Midwifery Today conference in Orlando, Florida]. We cannot stop talking about the warm reception, in-depth education received from you and your lecturers, the midwifery stories that were shared, the film clips and slides that brought us to tears. We will always be grateful for this wonderful gift.
"Your midwife lecturers made midwifery come alive--we lived the birth process through their lively discourse. Dr. Michel Odent and Dr. Marsden Wagner renewed our faith in ourselves by giving us the clear message that midwifery is alive around the globe and is oriented to the benefit of women and will not be led to destruction by medical technology. Although the Midwifery Today staff was busy, you made time to welcome us into your fold as if nothing in this world were more important."
Next year come to our European conference in Aachen, Germany, September 28-October 2, 2000!
Jan Tritten, Midwifery Today Editor in Chief
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 1 Issue 34, Aug 20, 1999)
To subscribe to the E-News write: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other matters contact Midwifery Today:
PO Box 2672-940, Eugene OR 97402
541-344-7438, email@example.com, Midwifery Today