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#1 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I the only person offended that Ina Mae went to Guatemala and learned this technique from traditional midwives who have done it for hundreds of years and then came back here and named it after herself? Hmmmm? I can't be the only one!! It drives me crazy!
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#2 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 02:48 AM
 
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hmmm. yeah, but I guess it's been done for years by men. she's just joined the club.
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#3 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll be sure to tell my montgomery glands about this!
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#4 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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I may be mistaken, but I don't think she's the one who named it that. She's just the one who gave lectures about it and spread the word to the medical community that a laboring woman can get on her hands and knees to help baby into a better position for birthing. I think she did a great thing by sharing what she learned (but wasn't it in Belize?) from watching indigenous people give birth.
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#5 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, she named it that herself.
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#6 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 04:58 PM
 
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It was Belize, not Guatemala
and she refers to it as "The All-Fours Maneuver" in every article I've read that she wrote herself.

Either way, it doesn't bother me at all. I think it's a much better option than the alternative methods of dealing with shoulder dystocia, like Zavanelli maneuver where doc shoves baby back up into uterus and sections him out.
What difference does it make what it's called?
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#7 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 05:02 PM
 
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I agree- I believe it started to be called the "Gaskin maneuver" after she was published in an OB journal. That is pretty standard in obstetrics though - manouvers are refered to by the person that publishes and popularizes a maneuver. I'll take "Gaskin" over "McRoberts" anyday .
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#8 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm almost 100% sure she began the trend of calling it the "Gaskin maneuver" herself. I'll have to research it more. We discussed it at length in my class and I held the position of stafl and chava, but more than a few people agreed she began the trend. Could it not be the Belize maneuver? I think if she had any integrity she would make it a point to name it something appropriate. Ina May has done good things for midwifery, but I'm just not feeling the Ina May love. I don't agree with all her techniques, I don't agree with all her stances on issues and I really disagree with her going around acting like the queen bee midwife. I know a lot of people are her fans and will be all irritated with me, but she absolutely drives me nuts sometimes.
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#9 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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www.inamay.com/gaskin_maneuver.htm

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I introduced the all-fours maneuver in the United States in 1976, after learning about it from a Belizean midwife who had, in turn, learned it from Mayan midwives in the highlands of Guatemala.
It is from the Guatemalan midwives. She was just taught by a Belizian MW.

She actually has a special link on her site about it. While she gives credit in this article, she obviously takes credit in general for the maneuver and bringing it into the limelight. It's one thing to be proud that you introduced a new technique and another to put on airs about how it's YOUR technique when you learned it from someone who learned it from women who have done this for hundreds of years.

Another white American steals credit for hundreds of years of brown skinned natives' ingenuity and dedication.
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#10 of 61 Old 03-05-2004, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by stafl
and she refers to it as "The All-Fours Maneuver" in every article I've read that she wrote herself.


What difference does it make what it's called?
She calls it the Gaskin Maneuver all over her website, no matter what she calls it in articles, she obviously calls it the Gaskin Maneuver herself.

It makes a big difference what it's called. I agree the Zavanelli maneuver is preposterous and very dangerous, but this is an issue of her taking the credit for other people's work. It is so offensive to me that she would do this. I don't see how it's any different than if a male OB did it.

It's like if I started calling Reggae, Laurenae just because I brought back some steel drums from Jamaica!
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#11 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 04:25 AM
 
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Bugs me too, Lauren.

i recently read an article about her and she did credit the midwives who taught her.... but it still bothers me a lot. I agree that it's the typical white person thing taking credit for a traditional practice.... ugh.

Interestingly, I read Spiritual Midwifery my first pregnancy and thought her to be so amazing. But since I started studying midwifery, I've looked at her techniques and beliefs in a different light-- and frankly there's A LOT i don't agree with. But then I'm sure that if you put 100 midwives in front of me, I wouldn't agree with many of them.

That said, she has, and continues to do great things for midwifery.

Karen
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#12 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 12:02 PM
 
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I don't guess I will ever learn to be brief...sorry.

I first read Spiritual Midwifery over 24 years ago, when I was pregnant with my oldest child, while living in a communal house in NC. I found the book very miraculous, because it expressed my deepest heartfelt desire for my son's birth, but I could not go to The Farm. I gave birth in a hospital setting and it was not pretty. I vowed that I would have a homebirth next time.

I never agreed with ALL that Ina May had to say, but I admired her. I still admire her, but I think that her notariety created a culture that has developed around her. She is still just another human being with human weaknesses and human strengths.

During my second pregnancy I met some ladies who had lived at The Farm for extended periods of time. They were very honest about their experiences there and with Ina May, and I let go of the stars in my eyes with regard to Ina May, and The Farm in general. Hey, it's a community made up of humans, with human nature and they are no different than you or me.

I won't get upset with Ina May for her humanity and hubris. I won't begrudge her those things because they are tools to facilitate learning; and that is true for all of us.

I whole-heartedly agree that the thousands of years of Mayan midwifery wisdom deserves all the respect and gratitude that we can sincerely muster, rather than being co-opted and renamed. There is no defense of the indefensible.

And at the end of the day, Ina May is just another woman, like every one of us. Nothing is stopping any of us from doing outstanding work in midwifery that may, as a side effect, garner us notariety. We would certainly come to understand more about that reality.

I guess one lesson might be to keep our own practices to a standard with which we feel comfortable and let others deal with theirs. Another might be, if we feel very very strongly about Ina May's actions, what is stopping us from making contact with her and respectfully expressing our concern about this issue?

After all, who is she?? Just another human being, and we can be sure that: 1- it will either make a difference....or, 2- it won't. Either way, all will have been done that is possible, to make a difference, and express concern about something that means a great deal. It occurs to me that one may get a reply as well, and get the real story from her.

You never know unless you try. It might be worth taking some time and reaching out to her.

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#13 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 03:36 PM
 
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Wow, Joyce, you are so right on. I try hard to see the divine in other people when I start feeling negative about them, and my snarky comment wasn't a result of that action.

I think that not only is she human, but we all know how hard it must be to maintain your humbleness and graciousness when you become a celebrity. Seriously.

Yes, Joyce.
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#14 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Malama
Bugs me too, Lauren.

i recently read an article about her and she did credit the midwives who taught her.... but it still bothers me a lot. I agree that it's the typical white person thing taking credit for a traditional practice.... ugh.

Interestingly, I read Spiritual Midwifery my first pregnancy and thought her to be so amazing. But since I started studying midwifery, I've looked at her techniques and beliefs in a different light-- and frankly there's A LOT i don't agree with. But then I'm sure that if you put 100 midwives in front of me, I wouldn't agree with many of them.

That said, she has, and continues to do great things for midwifery.

Karen
I thought she was amazing too, and it was funny, my MWs who gave me the book mentioned it was inspiring but not a textbook for the way midwifery and birth works, and that it was easy to get caught up.

Since then I have found that many of her techmiques are highly debatable to say the least, I'm thinking of breech here, and yes, she is human, I agree. Joyce, I like your post and I agree, but as a celebrity, she is up for my scrutiny. If she is doing things I disagree with, I'll call her on it. It doesn't mean I don't think she's done great things for midwifery.

I think she really does view herself as the queen bee of midwifery, and that bothers me, but not as much as the "Maya maneuver" being called the Gaskin maneuver." Whether or not she is a celeb, it is offensive. I want to revise my analogy to be, what is Sting said he got reggae from Jamaica, and then continually called it and allowed it to be called "stingae" or something like that? It would be super offensive. Since I am a nobody the analogy didn't work as well.

A ton of stuff goes on at the Farm I disagree with, but good things happen to. Fly in breeches, not that I'm crazy about her technique, fly in twins, VBACs, etc. I choose not to associate the cultural aspects of the Farm with the midwifery aspects because if I do, I will completely discredit the whole lot and with Ina May's celeb status I think that would do a disservice to midwifery. Geez, I'm rambling again, I always do that.

Bottom line. Ina May is who she is. Human. The term Gaskin maneuver is still highly offensive and IMO it doesn't make her look better in this community, but worse.
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#15 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 07:10 PM
 
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Well, Ina May is one of those midwives who has chosen to promote the profession by working within the system. Many people believe in that and it has it's plusses and minuses, IMO.

I personally believe that midwifery has little to do with Obstetrics... the two are just so completely different.

Ina May is just a human, and she HAS brought a lot of interest in midwifery to the mainstream. I'm sure that there are some who would never have heard about midwifery if not for the work she's done.

AND, many women, who would have otherwise been sectioned we able to have vaginal births because she's so outspoken in her stuff about breeches, etc.... That's cool.

So, i respect that about her, but still think it's lame that she took the credit for the maneuver.

karen
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#16 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Karen, I agree 100%.
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#17 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 07:35 PM
 
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Veganmama...

So why not ask Ina May about it? I mean it is possible to write her a letter or an email if this issue is near and dear to your heart as it seems to be. Yes, if you think she is up for your scrutiny, then by all means communicate with her about it. I really would do that if it bothered me that much. If she is accountable as a celebrity then why not act on it?

You could really provide her the opportunity to make a change.

I have reached out to well-known folks before on matters that mean alot to me and have often received a reply and seems to me this is one of those opportunities to really do something about a wrong. A well-written letter or email may reach her and make her think. What have you to lose?

Just a thought...Joyce in the mts.

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#18 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Hey Joyce! This is a little T. What did those people say about living on the Farm. I was always curious about what it was like.
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#19 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 08:55 PM
 
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Doulamomvicki...

I have PM'd you with regard to your OT question, so as not to highjack the thread.

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#20 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 09:08 PM
 
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lauren - what about her delivery of breeches do you not agree with? I'm just asking because my CPM learned how to do breech births the way Ina May does, and has never had any problems or difficulties.
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#21 of 61 Old 03-06-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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Add me to the "cultural appropriation bugged me too" list. It jumped out at me when I read her Guide to Childbirth.

And what exactly is her method for dealing with breech deliveries? Reading Spiritual Midwifery (at least as far as I got, I got about halfway through before I put it down) it seemed like her method was "cut a huge honkin' episiotomy."

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#22 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 02:14 AM
 
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T
Quote:
Originally posted by Joyce in the mts.
Doulamomvicki...

I have PM'd you with regard to your OT question, so as not to highjack the thread.

Joyce in the mts.
Me too please.

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#23 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In general, it is overmanagement, but it is the way she moves the baby's body that doesn't make sense. It's like she forgets how the baby is positioned inside the mother. She had an experience where they baby's arm was in a funky position and either she had a bad outcome and got scared, and now she has a big rigamarole with the way you move the baby all around as it is born. Really, breech babies tend to fall out on their own, yk? Really small movements of some key body parts may help if there is a problem with the mechanics. Anyway, from what I understand, there are some intense moments on her video on assisting breech where the women are screaming in agony. I have decided not to watch it for the time being, but I did watch a classmate describe it in detail with a pelvis and a doll. Sorry to get off topic. Joyce, I've heard lots of yucky stuff about living on the Farm too. You can forward me the pm if ya want.
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Me four! Me four! (please)
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#25 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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I also will admit to a burning curiosity to hear about real life on the Farm....

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#26 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 11:13 AM
 
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Curious Ladies...sorry to post such an OT post to this thread and I mean no disrespect to the OP or to The Farm...

It' s really no big deal and I am sorry to have made it seem very mysterious.

I used to kind of penpal with Joanne Santana (great name isn't it? Just rolls of the tongue), one of The Farm midwives, 20+ years ago. She actually lived at the NY Farm...yes there was a NY Farm many years ago, which is now defunct to my knowledge. She was very nice, and frankly I don't remember much that she wrote to me over the time we exchanged letters, to be honest. But I had found a couple years ago, that Joanne Santana teaches midwifery at The Farm, and last time I looked at their website, she was in a photo there with some others. We never did meet and that is because I moved away, out west to apprentice.

The one woman I remember best was so beautiful, and a beautiful person also. She was an RN, and attended the same midwifery study group I did at the time, in upstate NY. I really really liked her very much. She was very honest about her feelings about her time at The Farm, pre-1982. She said that it was way too communal, at The Farm, for her, and that there was not really much privacy among the residents. She also indicated that while Ina May is held up as someone very special, that she was not her cup of tea though she respected her alot. Tovah also said that nothing was really yours, and that you really didn't have space. And I cannot remember why, for the life of me, but I DO know that many folks moved away by the mid-90's I think, and the population went way down. Of course there had to be many reasons for that.

I have met others but can't remember other than what Tovah told me....probably because we spent a bit more time together than just to meet and greet. She was mutual friend of a friend, so I had most opportunity to talk with her. It was over 20 years ago.

Sorry for putting the info here after saying I wouldn't, but after seeing the amount of interest, I figured I would just spill it.

Like I said, it is not really a big deal, but enough to have really made me take a more realistic look and realize that nothing and no one is perfect. I have no idea how things are there now, but I imagine that the population has balanced out, as well as other things...after all, many have gotten older, wiser and mellower with time.

That's it! Again, sorry for the OT nature of this post.

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#27 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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You can find out about The Farm at one of their websites. It is no longer communal, but read for yourself their history and what it's like there now. http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/
Phone numbers and other contact info can be found at their website (try looking in the midwifery section).

Joanne is still there, I only met her once though.
They are just normal, aging hippies. Just like my mother and her friends. And like my mother and her friends, I often disagree with some of their ideas (probably more often than not). That doesn't take away from how inspiring I (and many other women) have found Ina May's books to be or the importance of what she has done to change midwifery in the United States.
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#28 of 61 Old 03-07-2004, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No offense taken on the part of the OP.

I have heard more stories re: social life on the Farm. 13 year olds marrying 30 years olds and what not. Anecdotal at best, so I won't talk about it because it isn't really fair to, but like I said, I choose to separate that from the MW side of the Farm because I need to for myself, yk?
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#29 of 61 Old 03-08-2004, 12:13 AM
 
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Ok this is the bottom line and then I will shut up since I don't wish to promote nor participate in further negativity.

I shared facts related by someone who has been there and lived there, that The Farm was not always so wonderful- and in keeping with the OP, to say that, yes, Ina May is like everyone else....she has faults and warts and is not necessarily liked by everyone around her- that is how it is to be human; like all of us here; especially if we find ourselves in leadership positions or have them thrust upon us. And I hope that my posts have not offended anyone, because frankly, it's all stories from others' past that held some balancing wisdom for me, that I thought worth sharing in this thread, without tearing apart my, or anyone else's admiration/respect for either The Farm or Ina May.

And it is Ina May, (among many others) who for very many, has been inspiration to take the risk to homebirth, to find a midwife and even to aspire to that art as well. I can admire her without either putting her on a pedestal, or taking away from her integrity for being human. That's all...and I would like to think that that was the predominant point that others came away with from my posts, ultimately.

Furthermore, frankly, if I had the level of anger and concern that has been expressed about an issue as near and dear to my heart as expressed in the OP, then I would darn sure make some contact and ask about it rather than continue to feed negativity about it.

Everyone IS a somebody and has the right to ask the hard questions of those who are perceived as leaders whether they intend to be or are for us, or not. I have done so pretty often on many matters of great importance to me. I don't feel I am a nobody. It's only another human on the other end, after all.

Is it really fair to judge when you have no understanding of the situation? of whether the elders gave permission or not? Do you know? For sure?

See, because I, personally HAVE been given permission to use certain knowledge and call it other than its' traditional name by the particular teachers I have worked with for more than a decade. I was told it was ok from the horse's mouth. Now, I certainly wouldn't know how that appears to others. Surely others may choose to judge me, but it would be out of ignorance of the whole truth of which they are not privy, but why would they be? They were not there doing the work I did, learning what I learned, having that relationship.

Just a thought that occurred to me. But what do I know. Sorry if I have offended.

If anyone has further issue with me in particular, please PM me. I apologize to mods if I have offended rules or sensibilities.

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#30 of 61 Old 03-08-2004, 12:50 AM
 
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Back to the OP.

Personally, I think it's hilarious that something that women instinctively do in spontaneous unmanaged birth is being popularized as a "maneuver", as if it's something that somebody invented. :

As for Ina May, I agree that she has done great things in furthering the cause of homebirth, and I also agree that she is human and as such is not all-knowing nor all-wise, but unfortunately there are still a lot of midwives out there who do put her on a pedestal and blindly trust that she holds the key to birth Truth, and so the myths she has helped to create are perpetuated.
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