GOLD Perinatal Care Conference News

Essentially MIDIRS, May 2012
What constitutes a successful water birth? One might immediately respond, ‘a healthy mother and baby’. But Barbara Harper believes there is a deeper answer. She describes, from her observations and practice with women in labor, the "secrets" that help us understand the birth process and the qualities that best enhance mothers' ability to give birth.
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I wrote this article for the Journal of Perinatal Education to answer the 2014 objection to birth in water voiced by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in ACOG Bulletin #594 on immersion in water during labor and birth is nothing new. The Committee on Fetus and Newborn published the very same opinion in 2005, based on a case report that was published in 2002 in the journal Pediatrics. What has changed since 2002 is a growing body of evidence that reports on the safety and efficacy of labor and birth in water. This article reviews the retrospective literature on water birth and explains newborn physiology and the protective mechanisms that prevent babies from breathing during a birth in water.
J Perinat Educ. 2014 Summer;23(3):124-34. doi: 10.1891/1058-1243.23.3.124.
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Fiona Lang-Sharpe recently sat down with GOLD Midwifery 2016 Keynote Speaker to discuss her upcoming presentation. Enjoy this little exert:

Fiona : "Welcome Sheena it's lovely to sit down with you here today. Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to become a midwife?"

Sheena : "My aunt, my mom’s sister was a midwife and her friend and they used to tell me little stories as a young girl about their work.... I was always interested in what they had to say and they got me thinking subconsciously about the work of a midwife .....the main thing really was when I went to be a nurse first, training to be a state registered nurse in England and during that time we had to choose a specialty.........during that time I met a beautiful midwife who helped me to really realize that that's what I wanted to do.

Fiona: "I want to ask you a little bit about the Roar behind the silence. Can you share with our audience when you first realized that there was a need this important work?"

Sheena: "I know exactly when it happened. I work very closely with Soo Downe the co-editor of the book, she and I spent time together chatting about the state of maternity care and we're both very passionate about it. One day we were sat in our garden talking about things that were happening around the world (in Maternity), about fear in maternity care, the fear that women feel when having babies and that it seems to be increasing.The fear that health professionals have and how they feel afraid for so many reasons and how that seems to be increasing too, and how the two things together were really influencing the way maternity services were being delivered and received. We were also rejoicing in the wonderful stories we hear from around the world, the stories about where maternity care is going right…...we wanted to put the two things together.”

Fiona: "What would you like are listening audience to take away from your presentation

Sheena: "I'd like delegates to feel that they can make a difference …….I hope it will spark a flame for you to feel changed and go forward with an idea whether it's a small idea (for example) how you speak or how you act, to actually lobbying for political change. That's what I hope"

View the full presentation below:

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