Faith’s Video Essays ~ for Leona (2018 & Shannon (2019) and anyone else who is curious

by faithgibson on April 8, 2016

Temporary note to Shannon – drop down to “part 1 – first video (starts with me in frame)

1. Conversation with Kathy Valeii, July 2013 ~Five-part dialogue btw myself and a well-known birth activist on the pros & cons of professionalizing/licensing traditional (i.e. non-medical or ‘direct-entry’) midwifery. Does licensing makes things better or worse for mothers or midwives?

Kathi Valeii  is the owns the “Birth Anarchy” website & blog. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and three children. She provides labor support for home and hospital births and has had midwife-attended home births.

During my week-long visit with her and her family in August of 2013, Kathi and I spent hours discussing the pros and cons of midwifery licensing — was it good or bad, did it represent a “cop out” as professionally licensed midwives sell-out childbearing families in return for social status and economic stability? Is there such a thing as a “good” licensing law in the US?

There is a lot to say, so  you’ll just have to watch to find out what i think and why.

Part 1 ~ Length: 7 min, 40 seconds 

Part 2 ~ 29 mins

Part 3 ~ 7 mins

 Part 4 ~ 18 mins, 34 seconds

Part 5 ~ 2 min 13 ” (ends abruptly when camera battery dies)

Aside to Leona ^O^September 1, 2018

This is the beginning of my providing links to documents and essays of mine that i believe you will find helpful in your PhD study of the professionalization of traditional (non-nurse) midwifery.

I am starting with material that provides the best background and foundation. I will add to the list as we go along. I’ll date newly added links so you can easily identify the newer additions.

A Time-Travelers Perspective on Normal Childbirth” by Faith Gibson, LM; published in the journal “Birth” in September 2011 –>  PDF link   

1.  Study in Black and White — obstetrical apartheid, circa 1960’s

The following 2-part interview was taped April 2011 in North Carolina by birth activist Kirst Kreutzer, who is a founding member of the birth activist movement:”Where’s My Midwife?

Kirst was also the video producer for a flash-mob “push-in” in a public park in Wilmington, NC, and Midwives’ Dinner videos

Activist and community-based midwife Faith Gibson discusses her obstetrical clinical training as a nursing student, and after graduation, as a labor and delivery nurse in a segregated hospital in Orland, Florida in the 1960s. These two videos segment focuses on Twilight Sleep and the type of delivery women had in the all white ward on 5 North and the segregated black ward on 1 South at Orange Memorial Hospital (now called Orlando Regional).

Severely depressed baby due effects of Twilight Sleep drugs and general anesthesia given to its mother and the use of forceps (also note lack of blood in the still attached and unclamped umbilical cord)

Part A ~ The White Ward – Orlando, Fla ~ the 1960s










Labor Room Nurse with labor patient under influence of Twilight Sleep drugs (injections of morphine mixed with 1/150 grain of scopolamine given on admission and repeated every 2-3 hrs until mother was taken to the Delivery Room and rendered unconscious under general anesthesia)

Part B ~ The Black Ward ~ Orlando, Fla ~ 1960s



Official Plan to Eliminate the Midwife ~  Historical Story Midwifery Politics ~ 1820 & 1881 Hx Documents


Link to subdirectory on “” that has several good reference, including the “Yellowknife” paper about informed decline of obstetrical interventions and others <>


Final Version: Social & Political History of California Midwifery 1850 ~ 2014


Historical and contemporary comments by physicians about midwives ~ 1820 to Present


ADDENDUM: Photo and graphic history of Midwifery: 5,000 years ago to now


   Identifying the Essential Qualities of Maternity Care – Evidence-based policies and a plan for action   (this is the one we looked at together, that has the studies and stats that compares unattended birth (Indiana religious group with 6 maternal and 23 perinatal death out of 344 birth) with professionally-trained and licensed American and Canadian midwives and the general stats for hospital-based childbirth. 

Here is the short cut to just those parts:

Part II: Safety & the Maternity-Care Continuum in an
essentially healthy population 

Childbirth risks in a healthy population & policies that reduce them 

Five Models, Five Perspective, Five Insights 

Mainstream medicine’s publications on issues of (#1) Ethics and on the the closing of legacy nurse midwifery services in hospitals and free-standing birth centers (#2)

 #1   Choice in Planning and Experiencing Childbirth
AMA Journal of Ethics~ Virtual Mentor.
 September 2004,
Volume 6, Number 9. Policy Forum  

 #2  Annotated Excerpts from the”Marginalization of Nurse Midwifery” 

The dark story behind 20th century Obstetrics in America: How it turned healthy childbearing women into the patients of a surgical specialty and normal birth into a surgical procedure that routinely included a ‘generous’ episiotomy, general anesthetized to render the mother-to-be unconscious and then use of obstetrical forceps, manual removal of the placenta and perineal suturing including the infamous “husband stitch” so the husband would not later complain to the obstetricians that: “since the baby was born, having sex with my wife is like walking into a warm room”.

History of Obstetrics via Dr J. Whitridge Williams, author of “Williams Obstetrics” (1st edition 1903), Chief of Obstetrics at John Hopkins 1900-1910; Dean of John Hopkins School of Medicine – 1910-1923; Author of a book on childbirth writing to raise money from philanthropists and convince middle and upper-calls men and husbands that their wives should be electively hospitalized for childbirth. ~ this short-cut link leads to very first post in this series; follow link at the bottom of each post to access the next in the series.

Intro to an 8-part series on Dr. Williams’ 1914 book “Twilight Sleep”: Simple Discoveries in Painless Childbirth”

Rare historical document on the AMA and Flexner Report in the early 20th century (written by a black physician member)   Link here to PDF –> AMA_Flexner_lttr-coverup_OloladeOlakanmi_1910

  Why the OB profession has an inferiority complex as told in their own words

 Part 1- History of Obstetrics,  material & references from Dr. Neal DeVitt’s 1975 Thesis

Part 2 – Historical testimony on safety of physiological 
management & benefits of midwifery

Part 3 – Obstetrical Education & its connection to the Campaign to Abolish the Midwife

Part 4 – Obstetricians promoting the “New Obstetrics” 1910 to 1923

Part 5 – Obstetrics morphs into a new surgical specialty in the 20th century America, 

which morphs into “Industrialized Obstetrics” in the 21st century ~ The natural conclusion to a hundred years of interventionist obstetrics as the standard for healthy women and normal birth as a surgical procedure

Original material includes “The Elimination of Midwifery ~ 1900 to 1935: by Dr. Neal Devitt; 1976″

~ I have a current email for Dr. Devitt. This was an academic paper that got published. is currently a family practice doctor in New Mexico providing maternity care)