Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM,was the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Center, located near Summertown, Tennessee. Founded in 1971, by 1996, the Farm Midwifery Center had handled more than 2600 births, with remarkably good outcomes. Ms. Gaskin herself has attended more than 1200 births. Her classic book on childbirth, Spiritual Midwifery, is in its fourth edition. For twenty-two years she published Birth Gazette, a quarterly covering health care, childbirth and midwifery issues. Other books include Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (2003) and Birth Matters (2011). She has lectured all over the world at midwifery conferences and at medical schools, both to students and to faculty. She was President of Midwives’ Alliance of North America from 1996 to 2002. In 1997, she received the ASPO/Lamaze Irwin Chabon Award and the Tennessee Perinatal Association Recognition Award. In 2003 she was chosen as Visiting Fellow of Morse College, Yale University.
Ms. Gaskin has lectured widely to midwives and physicians throughout the world. Her promotion of a low-intervention but extremely effective method for dealing with one of the most-feared birth complications, shoulder dystocia, has resulted in that method being adopted by a growing number of practitioners. The Gaskin maneuver is the first obstetrical procedure to be named for a midwife. Her statistics for breech deliveries and her teaching video on the subject have helped to spark a reappraisal of the policy of automatically performing cesarean section for all breech babies.