Issue 119

Midwifery Today Issue 119Theme: Birth Is a Human Rights Issue

A goal of Midwifery Today is for birth to be safe and compassionate for every motherbaby, everywhere. We hold conferences and publish articles in order to teach the world about childbirth that is physiologic, safe and honoring to both the mother and the baby in all aspects, including emotional, physical and spiritual. In this issue, we are pleased to offer compelling and thought-provoking articles surrounding our theme of “Birth Is a Human Rights Issue.” Michel Odent, Sister MorningStar, Robin Lim and others have written specifically on this theme. We also have a wonderful article on herbs by Susun S. Weed, and Elizabeth Davis has written a piece titled “The Lost Arts of Midwifery: Core Skills to Be Reclaimed.”

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The Breast Crawl

These photos were taken at a birth I was hired to photograph. I’ve been documenting births in Austin, Texas, for over five years. I always meet with my clients beforehand to discuss any special moments they want me to be sure not to miss.

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Equality for Midwives

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights affirmed that the human right to private life includes the right to choose the circumstances of giving birth. In Ternovszky v. Hungary (2010), the human rights tribunal made clear that this right includes the choice between giving birth with a midwife or with a doctor, at home or in the hospital. Read more…. Equality for Midwives

What If, What For and What Now: Human Rights and Cultural Rights in Childbirth

What If, What For and What Now? Human Rights and Cultural Rights in Childbirth by Sister MorningStar. “One of the most tragic destructions of indigenous sacred female knowledge is the false superiority and medicalization of childbirth by professionals among native peoples. Read more…. What If, What For and What Now: Human Rights and Cultural Rights in Childbirth

How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative

How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative by Vicki Penwell. Midwife Vicki Penwell shares a simple and practical tool to get better outcomes in childbirth. Read more…. How a Checklist Promotes Human Rights in Childbirth: The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative

Human Rights in Childbirth: A Basket of Stories

Mothers worldwide are crying out for respectful, gentle maternal health services. The nightmare of “prenatal scare” instead of prenatal care has mothers-to-be crying after visits with the Ob/Gyn. Clearly, it is time for an awakening in birth. This is what so many of us birthkeepers are holding in our hearts. We devote our days and nights to supporting individual women to have choices in childbirth, while working on the broader, global front of human rights in childbirth.

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 Read more…. Human Rights in Childbirth: A Basket of Stories

The Right to Challenge Tradition and Cultural Conditioning

The Right to Challenge Tradition and Cultural Conditioning by Michel Odent. Natural childbirth advocate and obstetrician Michel Odent discusses cultural interferences in childbirth and the repercussions these have had on human development. Read more…. The Right to Challenge Tradition and Cultural Conditioning

Raspberry Leaf—Wonderful or Wacky?

A helpful article by herbalist Susun S. Weed on the benefits of raspberry leaf, particularly in tea form, during pregnancy.

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 Read more…. Raspberry Leaf—Wonderful or Wacky?

A Hard Day’s Night: Midwives and Sleep Deprivation

Author Bonnie U. Gruenberg touches on a subject many birthworkers are unfortunately all too familiar with: sleep deprivation.

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 Read more…. A Hard Day’s Night: Midwives and Sleep Deprivation

Reflecting on Fiji

Reflecting on Fiji: Highlights from the Midwifery Today Conference by Jan Tritten. Complete with the prime minister of Fiji’s opening speech, Jan shares some of the highlights from a truly inspiring conference in the South Seas. Read more…. Reflecting on Fiji

Human Rights in Obstetrics

Midwife Beverly Beech discusses the importance of human rights in maternity care.

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Birth Is a Human Rights Issue

It is important to realize that the health of the mother and baby are deeply dependent on what happens in pregnancy, birth and in the hours and months after birth. These are life-altering days often referred to as the childbearing year. Read more…. Birth Is a Human Rights Issue