Musings of a crunchy, domestic goddess

Just another mama musing about her kids, Attachment Parenting, activism, photography, and life in general

Giddy as a school girl May 4, 2007

Ina May Gaskin

I’m giving myself an early birthday present tonight (my birthday is actually Monday, May 7) and going to see/hear Ina May Gaskin, called “The Greatest Midwife In The World,” talk about her views on childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting at an evening talk. I was hoping both Jody and I could attend, but we didn’t have anyone available to watch Ava, so Julian and I are going ourselves and will meet several of my friends (and my midwife) there.

Since planning for a homebirth for Julian, I admit I’ve become quite the birth geek. I’m fascinated by and in awe of it and love to learn all that I can. I admire midwives so greatly for the work that they do. While I can’t picture myself ever becoming a midwife, I do think it’d be amazing, an honor and a privilege to be a birth photographer someday (when my kids are older).

Ina May is a midwifery pioneer, noted international speaker and author of “Spiritual Midwifery” – a book that “encourages Americans to view birth as a natural life process, rather than a medical emergency” – and “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.” She’s been “catching babies” since 1970. She also introduced to the world the Gaskin Maneuver, an important birthing technique, which allows for a safe, non-invasive solution to shoulder dystocia, one of the most perplexing and feared complications facing obstetricians. – The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

There’s a great interview with Ina May here.

Besides the fact that I get to hear this incredible woman share her views tonight, I feel it will be an awesome experience to be in a room with so many other women who are passionate about birth. Imagine the energy! After I sent my registration in, I received word that due to the overwhelming response, they were having to close registration. However, I found out last night that it has since been reopened as they found a larger room in which to host the talk. I’m glad that others who had wanted to go, but didn’t get their registration in in time, will now be able to. At least three women from my AP group have said they will now be coming since I posted that there is seating available. Yay! The more, the merrier.

Rest assured I will be posting about the talk in the next few days. Julian is usually a pretty mellow baby, so I’m hoping he’ll be content to either sleep on me in the Ergo or suck/chew on his toys while in my lap. I don’t want to miss a word Ina May says. Maybe I should bring a tape recorder? 😉



“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

— Barbara Katz Rothman


9 Responses to “Giddy as a school girl”

  1. aimeemarr Says:

    Wow! Have fun…I’m jealous. Please let us know how it goes.

  2. Kellie Says:

    How neat 🙂 Can’t wait to read about it!

    BTW, I used that quote at the end on the birth slideshow that I did … It’s a great quote!

  3. K Says:

    Happy birthday on Monday, Amy!!!


  4. Penny Says:

    Hope you had a great time! I’m such a birth junkie too – I’d love to go along.

  5. […] My friend, Amy, wrote a very nice piece on Ina May today, on her blog, so if you want to find out more about Ina May, and some of her background, visit Amy’s blog.  […]

  6. […] Pregnancy, Health — amygeekgrl @ 9:49 pm As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled […]

  7. […] 8th, 2007 · 9 Comments As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled […]

  8. […] As I set out driving Friday night to hear Ina May Gaskin – called “the mother of authentic midwifery” by Midwifery Today – speak, I was filled with […]

  9. Judith Says:

    I’ve been influenced tremendously by Ina May and by SOiritual Midwifery, and overall I haveto say I klvoe ehr and have learned tremendously from ehr work.but if I have any criticism, it;s the ways that she acts a bit regal about being the “Greatest Midwife in the WOrld.” s I say, Sp M is a groundbreaking approiach and it’s influenced my life, and my style of birthing, beyond expression. still, there have always been some valid questions people ahve asked about several aspects of teh Farm Midwifery style. and there WAS a inhdependent midwifery movement fomenting in the US in the early to mid 70s quite outside the Farm which was somewhat isolated from even the rest of hippie home birth practice at the time.

    here’s one example that irks me…the so-called gaskin maneuver. the Farm adopted this style of resolving big babies stuck at the shoulders in the alte 70s r so, after they ahd learned it from Guatemalan midwives. so maybe it would have been fair to insist on calling it the “Guatemalan maneuver.”

    thena gain, maybe EVE used it with Cain or ABel. it;s definitely documented in teh “Birth Book” by Raven Lang and teh Santa Cruz midwives published in 1972. the Farm ahd not published anything about their still-new midwifery practice at the time, and when they did, in first the book “Hey hbeatynik, This is the Farm!” and then in the first edition of SPiritual Midwifery as a free standing book (1974 and 1975) all the women were shown delivering in a semi-0seated position.

    so I’d personally like it if Ina May gave teh niod to Raven and the California midwives for “popularizing” the hands and knees position a good three eyars before Ina May eitehr used it or wrot about it.

    maybe it;s jsut too tempting to collect acclaim as teh “world’s greatest midwife” though. discretion being the better part of valir, and humility and generosity being hallmarks of spiritual growth as I see it.

    a lot of women I know were ratehr offended by the high-involvement style of Ina May and the Farm midwives, from handling the birthing woman;s rbeasts and genitals (to bring on a contraction: or :help her relac” to asking husbands who were :”in teh way” to elave the birthing room to giving too many enemas and too many episiotomies especially in the old days,a dn being down on ehrbal medicines as “superstition.”

    a lot fo that has changed…anyway, jsut some thoughts. I lvoe Ina May but who is Teh Greatest? probably someone who refuses to be so cast.

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