Friday, February 21, 2014

In the Wind

I am forever grateful for the midwives who allow me to sit at their feet and learn the ancient art of midwifery that can only be taught best from those who know it's her-story.  I love, oh I love so to hear midwives tell stories of the births that they have attended.  I listen to every moment of the lessons they have learned through those births as they whisper on that knowledge.  I wish so I had a midwife who lived down the street.  One who could mentor me daily and benefit from my youth and eagerness.  But.... she does not exist.  Oh know her footsteps I will always miss.

So few are the community traditional midwives.  Those women who were here before... Those women who cared for the new, the sick, the dying.  Those women, with their strong hands, minds, and opinions apprenticed the chosen one from the community who would be the predecessor.  The young women who would carry her bag, her torch, her heartache, her strength, her story, her triumphs, her her-story, her fears, her peace.  That woman whom would carry on the legacy of the community midwife and share all that she had learned for generations to all who needed it.

Instead.... here we are. lost in a place of desertion.  Waiting for the chance to feel, see, or glimpse that legacy that was here oh so long before me.  Oh do I long for the years of my grandmother's youth.  The years when the midwife came a knockin'.  When she came round just to be checkin'.. Never did she come to be messin'.....

I feel her spirit all around me.  Within me..... I hear her whisper in my ear when the wind blows upon me.  Sharing her wisdom down the ages through all that I read.  but, yet still some is lost, it is lost to me.  Her story is lost to us because at the time when she was forced from caring for those who needed.  For that was the time of the great midwifery reapin'.  When she was forced from being there for those who despaired.  Instead she left her bag there.  only open a bit.  Never to pass that way again.  Lost because of those who just didn't understand.

I long, oh how I long to sit at her feet.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Beautiful African American family home birth HBAC

There just aren't enough videos of African American families birthing out of the hospital.  I found this one a while back and added it to my youtube channel for home births and while watching through the station I came across it again.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ina May Gaskin: Reducing Fear of Birth in US culture TedxTalk

Ina May Gaskin needs no introduction among most birth activists.  Here she is doing a TedxTalk about reducing fear of birth in U.S. Culture.  If I was a better blogger I would have already blogged about my time I spent on The Farm back in June while I was attending midwifery assistance training there but, I am not a better blogger.  I promise I will do better when I go back in late August for Advanced Midwifery training.  If you have never heard of Ina May Gaskin, Pamela Hunt, and all of the other wonderful midwives at The Farm, get up from your pc right now and go get one of Ina May's books.  They are all awesome!  Now I'm done typing.  Enjoy the knowledge this woman shares! 

Happy Birthing, Toni

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Accupuncture -Guest post by Clare Mallory

Many people don't know that acupuncture can be fantastic for most symptoms associated with pregnancy.  In fact, in many countries, midwives and doctors work closely together with acupuncturists for pregnancy care, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. 
In Chinese Medicine, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period are seen as times when the woman's Qi ("energy") experiences a heightened sensitivity. What this translates to is a window of opportunity to promote both the mother's and the baby's health and well-being - and the converse is also true: if care is not taken to nurture the mother (and baby) during this time, problems that result can often continue long after birth.  This is seen often in clinical practice.

Regular acupuncture during pregnancy, and especially in the pre-birth period, has been shown to increase the effectiveness of labor, decrease pain, and decrease the need for all types of medical intervention (induction, epidurals, episiotomies, and C-sections in particular). In addition, partners can be taught acupressure points to use during labor and delivery that have been shown to significantly help with pain and which most women find extremely helpful. Research to date has shown acupuncture to be both safe and effective for numerous pregnancy related conditions.
Following are a few ways acupuncture can help during pregnancy and beyond (for references and research, please contact me or refer to my website for more information):
Nausea:  Acupuncture can be very helpful in reducing both the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting. Starting treatment early in pregnancy helps prevent severe nausea in women who have experienced it in prior pregnancies.
Varicose veins/vulvar varicosities: These can both be extremely painful during pregnancy, and there aren't many options for women in terms of treating them. Fortunately, acupuncture can be very effective in reducing the pain associated with varicose veins and vulvar varicosities, especially when started earlier on.
Hypertension: Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is a potentially serious condition that can result in eclampsia. Acupuncture can help in the treatment of both hypertension and PIH, especially if it is begun when high blood pressure is first noted. Regular acupuncture has been shown in practice to not only reduce blood pressure but it has also been reflected in routine blood work ordered to monitor for potential complications.
Depression and Anxiety: Regular acupuncture has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Treating depression and anxiety during pregnancy is very important not only because it enhances the mother's health and wellbeing (thereby boosting her immune system and contributing to a healthier pregnancy and birth) but also because studies show that regular treatment of depression prior to birth contributes to a significantly lower risk of postpartum depression.
Breech/posterior:  Acupuncture and moxibustion (the burning of an herb, mugwort, over specific acupuncture points) have been shown to have a significant effect in helping turn breech babies; in fact, research and practice support a 70-80% success rate. The best time for turning a breech is at 34-35 weeks, but it can also be done later in the pregnancy.  Similar techniques are also used for turning posterior babies prior to birth.
Induction: Acupuncture can be very effective in helping induce labor when medical induction is deemed necessary but the woman would rather a more "natural" option. (This is helpful not only at term but also in the unfortunate case of a miscarriage when a D&C is indicated but not desired by the mother.)  Practice has shown, however, that those coming for pre-birth acupuncture (regular acupuncture in the weeks prior to birth) have a significantly lower rate of needing to be induced; this is preferential, as even though acupuncture is more natural than medical induction, inducing labor by any means is still hurrying the body along.
Postpartum care and breastfeeding: Acupuncture can be very helpful in reducing pain associated with breastfeeding as well as with problems related to lactation. Other postpartum issues acupuncture can help with include scar tissue repair, postpartum depression, and urinary incontinence.
Other pregnancy related conditions that acupuncture can treat include:  Musculoskeletal pain; anemia; headaches; sinus problems; threatened miscarriages; carpal tunnel syndrome; insomnia; edema; hemorrhoids; and fatigue.
If you or someone you love is pregnant, no matter how far along you are, please let them know that acupuncture is available in the area and that it can be extremely helpful during pregnancy.  I am available by email to answer questions (, and I also welcome the opportunity to speak to groups about acupuncture during pregnancy and acupressure during labor.

 Clare Mallory, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist who practices in both Columbus (662.597.1003) and Saltillo (662.869.2148).  She can be reached at or via her website,  Clare practices in Columbus every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 7:00 p.m. and in Saltillo every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (beginning July 9).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Doula Awareness month FOD day 6

Did you know that doulas often drive a seperate car when going on outings with family just in case they get called in?

Friday, February 1, 2013


“Fear can be overcome only by Faith.”

 ~Grantly Dick-Read, M.D.