The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


About the Midwife Archives - Midwife Archives Disclaimer

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Compiled and maintained by Ronnie Falcao.

Mirror Site

There is currently no mirror site.

Search Facility

NEW!  Search all of gentlebirth.org, including the Midwife Archives.
This site is maintained as a free public service to provide information and support regarding Pregnancy, Birth and Well-Woman Care. The site maintainers have no medical credentials and there is no medical advice at this site.  None of the information or links at this site is warranted for accuracy, reliability, timeliness, completeness, or anything else; read and click at this site (and the rest of the Web) at your own risk and with a healthy dose of skepticism -- and always consult your midwife or other care provider. Please e-mail feedback.

The Midwife Archives is a collection of excerpts from messages that have appeared on birth-related distribution lists or newsgroups. Not all of the opinions here are those of midwives - some are from labor assistants, childbirth educators, or parents.

More Detailed Information About What Gets "Archived" and From Where

This information is meant to provide further direction in your research and to suggest questions to ask your care provider.  The contributors are generally anonymous, and the material contained herein has not been checked for accuracy. Please remember that this is not meant to replace professional advice from your own care provider. If you are a professional, use good judgment in taking the advice from this anonymous source!

In fact, because these pages are also kept as a true "archive" of the evolving state of midwifery in the late 20th century, some false or outdated statements may appear in the course of a particular discussion.  These statements could be dangerous if taken out of context.

Ronnie Falcao and Sabrina Cuddy are not the authors of the content of these Web pages and may not be able to provide further information on the topic or an explanation of what the original author meant .

This is not a research service.  If there is a topic that you feel is covered inadequately, please consider summarizing your further research on the Web and mailing us your results to add as an additional resource.  Additionally, you might consider subscribing to one of the birth-related lists and initiating a discussion of that topic.

For Aspiring Midwives

The two primary midwifery organizations are MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) and the ACNM (American College of Nurse-Midwives).

Both offer information on their Web pages and through helpful printed materials:

Midwifery Today offers publications about Becoming a Midwife

Pathways into Midwifery - a meta-page from socalbirth.com

You can get a lot of helpful information and support from other midwifery students and apprentices.  There are yahoo groups for student
midwives or apprentice midwives.

There is also additional information in the Midwife Archives: Please check the Education and Personnel sections (and other sections of Practical Aspects of Midwifery) as well as Book Recommendations and Online and Offline sources of information.

In particular, in order to be an evidence-based midwife, you will need to develop skills at searching and reading published research.

I know the Midwife Archives is not perfect.  It is maintained as a free public service on a volunteer basis.  If you would like to see major improvements, I strongly encourage you to volunteer to help or to obtain funding.

More Detailed Information About What Gets "Archived" and From Where

Archiving as an official term means to save verbatim copies of messages so that the original message stream can be reconstructed.  For example, the ob-gyn-l list is archived at http: where you can read the original messages as posted, with full author and date information retained.

As of August, 1998, efforts are being made to keep verbatim archives of some of the fensende.com lists.  This specifically excludes the midwife@fensende.com list because of the high volume, the privacy concerns, and because this "Midwife Archives" Web site records some of the most valuable information from the list.

The "Midwife Archives" is a bit of a misnomer in that it is not a verbatim archiving of anything.  Neither the fensende.com list nor any other midwife list is being archived verbatim here.  "Midwife Notes" or "Midwife Summary" might have been more appropriate, but there is a particular value in calling it the archives, i.e. it has some credibility as a "peer journal".  Thus, if a midwife had a poor outcome with a shoulder dystocia where she did not cut an episiotomy, she could cite the discussions from the Midwife Archives and show that her peers agree that it isn't necessary to cut an episiotomy in order to manage shoulder dystocia effectively.

As the editor of the Midwife Archives, I (Ronnie Falcao) snag any and all useful information wherever I find it, whether on one of the midwife lists, one of the other birth-related lists, in the newsgroups, or from the news services.  I strip identifying and very personal information and archive the extracted or summarized information.

The original authors own copyright to their words and continue to own copyright, even if those words appear in the Midwife Archives.  Having those words in the Midwife Archives may weaken the copyright or diminish the value of their writing, and authors who intend to publish their writing have requested that their contributions be removed.  Fortunately, many gracious people have created their own Web sites containing their copyrighted writing, and they have gladly offered me the URLs for inclusion in the Midwife Archives.  (This is preferable, because it reduces the size of the Midwife Archives and removes the burden of keeping the information up-to-date.)

The issue of copyright is complicated.  In particular, it is permissible to use someone's words when providing a critique.  This arguably covers all postings to all the lists.  However, it is not my intention to push the copyright law to the limit, and I do wish to respect individual's rights to privacy and control over their writing.

Anybody who categorically does not want their words to be used in the Midwife Archives is encouraged to please contact me.   It's trivial for me to install a filter on my mail reader so that your writings are never considered for inclusion.  However, if your words are quoted in somebody else's posting, especially without attribution, it will be impossible for me to know that these words were written by somebody who doesn't want them included in the Midwife Archives.

So, if you don't ever want your words to be re-used in any way, it is important that you include this request in all e-mail that you send to public lists.  You should specifically claim copyright and deny all rights to re-use those words, even when quoted in replies.  In addition, you should be specific that these words should not be saved or archived in any way.  This will help to protect your words from being re-used if they accidentally are quoted on another list or saved in somebody's personal archives and reposted without your permission.   [Please note that the information you post may still be paraphrased or used as the basis for some addition to the Midwife Archives.]

If someone has seen something they wrote in the Archives and they're unhappy about it, they only have to let me know and I'll gladly delete it, possibly paraphrasing it instead.

All identifying information has been stripped from this material, except where the author wishes to be credited.

If you see your words here, and wish to have your name attached, that can be done. I am trying to preserve the positions of those midwives who may not be practicing legally in their area. I am also trying to keep the Midwife list the great conference call that it is - so people don't feel that their every word will end up in this more public forum!

Contributors to the various birth-related lists may ask themselves, "Why should I allow my words to be included in the Midwife Archives?"

There are many possible answers, one of which may apply to you:


Many midwives are rightfully concerned about using their real names when posting to the Internet.  Many states fail to license midwives and relegate them to a shady legal existence.  Their personal safety and ability to continue providing midwifery services may be compromised by posting in public places or even to private lists, where there may be spies or where other subscribers may unthinkingly copy and redistribute their words.

There are technical solutions to this problem.  There are several anonymous mailers available - one such is at http:
Theoretically, the owner of the list should be able to add this e-mail sender as a subscriber to the list so that messages from this address would be accepted for redistribution to the list.  However, this would offer a loophole for abuse or spam.

A more sophisticated solution would be for each individual list to offer an anonymous service.  This service would check that the sender is indeed a member of the list, and then strip identifying information before posting the message to the list.  Records of the redirection could be kept for a short period of time so that abusers would remain accountable.  If anyone has the ability and time to implement this or cause it to be implemented, please contact me.

Thank You's

I appreciate the grateful e-mails I get, often with amusing stories attached.  Here are some favorites:
Thank you so much for the midwife archives. It was especially helpful when I was stuck in "prodromal labour" for two weeks because it gave me lots to read to keep me busy!

SEARCH gentlebirth.org

Main Index Page of the Midwife Archives

Main page of gentlebirth.org         Mirror site

Please e-mail feedback about errors of fact, spelling, grammar or semantics. Thank you.

Permission to link to this page is hereby granted.
About the Midwife Archives / Midwife Archives Disclaimer