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The first issue is born.

My name is Debra Rose Wilson and I thank you for the opportunity to be managing editor for the International Journal of Childbirth Education. I am thrilled and humbled to assume this position. My thanks to all the editors who came before me; you have set an excellent example.

I am first a nurse. I have been nursing for 35 years, delivering babies, teaching prenatal classes, caring for premature infants, teaching nursing school, changing and implementing health policy, and conducting research. I have loved my career. I am a long-time member of the International Childbirth Association. When I sat down to write this I wasn't sure how many years had passed since I became a member of ICEA. Ryan T. Couch (ICEA Membership) told me that I have been a member for over 20 years. That is an incredibly long relationship with an organization. Come to think of it, that is a longer relationship than I have had with either of my husbands. ICEA has shaped my beliefs about empowering people to take charge of their birth, their health, and their life. It was through teaching guided imagery and labor preparation that I came to understand the effectiveness of hypnosis and complementary modalities. I am Canadian, but live, practice, and teach in Nashville, Tennessee.

Most of my early career was as a postpartum, L&D, NICU, lactation consultant, or well-baby nurse. I taught hospital-based prenatal classes in northern Alberta in the early 80s. I moved into a high risk pregnancy public health program and provided prenatal care and classes for teens, street kids, and those in socioeconomic and/ or domestic crisis. I obtained my Master of Science in Holistic Nursing with a focus on complementary and alternative therapies from Tennessee State University. I was drawn to holistic nursing and complementary medicine because of what I learned from ICEA conferences and journals. These are the things that I had come to value. I then pursued a PhD in Health Psychology with a focus in how belief, attitude, and stress influence our immune system (psychoneuroimmunology). I am currently taking courses toward my next graduate degree.

As a clinical hypnotherapist I have been assisting with hypnobirths for many years, using hypnosis in counseling practice, and teaching hypnotherapy. I currently teach at Middle Tennessee State University in the graduate and undergraduate nursing programs. I am also faculty at Walden University where I teach numerous courses including health psychology, biopsychology and psychoneuroimmunology to PhD student psychologists. I provide private prenatal classes. I have a private practice as a lactation consultant and make home visits in the middle Tennessee area. I am currently conducting research in the areas of stress, relaxation techniques, immunity, and breastfeeding. Yes, I am busy, but I also deliberately build in relaxation, self care, and balance (one of the tenets of holistic nursing).

I love to be outside, in touch with nature, and with soil up to my elbows. It is here that I contemplate my profession, values, and journey. This grounds me and makes me mindful of the simpler things in my busy life. Moving from Canada to Tennessee taught me that some plants do survive the winter and come back glorious. I am married and I have a son, Joe, who is 25 and lives in Alberta. Barkley is our tragically spoiled Tibetan terrier.

I would like to offer a special thank you to this issue's peer reviewers. Each of you has done a wonderful job turning over articles on very short notice. It is due to you that we achieved what I believe are great results in a very short time. Amber Roman, Jeanine Estrada, David Feild, my husband Bill, Brooke Stacey, Barbara Brown, and all of the peer reviewers were valuable doulas as my first journal was delivered.

There will be regular columns from the editor, from our ICEA president, from our ICEA executive director, and from board members. Amber Roman will have a regular grassroots column entitled Birth Change. This issue she begins with a focus on one midwife making a difference. Next issue begins a regular column presenting prenatal education practices from around the world. Contact me at if you are interested in submitting a column about unique prenatal education practices in your part of the world.

This issue is a potpourri of articles that are peer-reviewed, based on evidence, and valuable to our readers. The first feature article explores what is new and useful on the Internet to enhance teaching. Caring for women with prenatal depression or for parents who are expecting a child with special needs is addressed with some practical tips for caring for these families. A teen prenatal care program is presented and current trends in childbirth practice in South Africa may surprise readers. Another article will discuss how nursing schools are regularly using birth simulators for teaching nursing students; how can we apply those learning models to prenatal education? The reader will consider the role of nurse practitioners in prenatal education, the father's experience of post partum hemorrhage, current approaches to pain management, and men's sexuality in the perinatal period. A book review, a user friendly game for teaching unexpected outcomes, and a paper on examining the benefits of making connections with nursing schools round out this first issue. This issue was birthed as my first issue as managing editor (without an episiotomy, or even a paper cut). Sincere thanks to the authors who rose to the call for papers, made changes, and returned papers incredibly promptly.

Some future issues will have feature articles centered on one theme. Spirituality and culture is the theme for the January 2012 issue. Grief, complementary and alternative therapies in pregnancy and childbirth, non-traditional families, concepts of adult education, psychology of pregnancy, and prenatal education within the information technology explosion are some potential themes for upcoming issues. Contact me if you would like assistance creating an article.

I will be delighted to hear from readers about what you want to see in your journal. I promise to provide close editorship to ensure that our journal reflects evidence-based, peer reviewed articles as well as columns that keep you up to date and informed. It should be known, however, that I tend to leave the r off in the word breastfeeding when typing too fast. That never goes over well. I promise to use spell check.


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Author:Wilson, Debra Rose
Publication:International Journal of Childbirth Education
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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