Birth & Midwifery in Portugal
Resources for parents and practitioners
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Mary Zwart and Francoise Mamacita Souverville
Mary Zwart is an independent midwife from the Netherlands. She graduated from the Amsterdam Midwifery School in 1969. She received her nursing training at the Leiden Academic Hospital. After traveling, she practiced privately from 1973 to 1996. Then she became involved in changes in Eastern Europe and Russia. Since 2000 she has participated in a movement to humanize the birth process in Brazil. She is the founder of the European Perinatal School, as well as a member of the European Network of Consumers and Childbirth Educators and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. Mary enjoys teaching midwifery internationally and recently began practicing again. She has one daughter, and she collects all kinds of midwifery objects.
Francoise Mamacita Souverville has been a midwife since 1972 and has helped more than 2,000 births, both in hospitals and at home. She is passionate about births in water and is a follower of the research of Igor Tjarkovsky in Moscow, Russia, who confirms his research that babies born in the water have stronger immune systems, healthy bodies and exceptionally strong bones. Mamacita participated in writing, along with seven other women, a book called Informed Homebirth, in its first edition, and Special Delivery in the second publication of the book. She has created “Preparation for men,” a course that has helped transform the attitude of birth in the family. She has worked on legal issues concerning midwifery in the state of Arkansas, USA, and now lives in Portugal.