What will birth be like 40 years from now? If everyone works together, writes editor-in-chief Jan Tritten, we can transform birth for future generations.
This article outlines the 10 steps developed by the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative to help ensure that women everywhere are guaranteed the basic human right of humane and evidence-based maternity care.
Humans are instinctual creatures, writes Sister MorningStar in this potent essay on the issue of birth rights. “Disturbed, the bodily functions of an instinctual animal will stop,” MorningStar writes. “Humans deserve the right to birth in their natural environment where they feel safe and with their own ‘kind‘.”
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 94, Summer 2010. Subscribe to Midwifery Today Magazine When we were interviewing dais (traditional Indian midwives) about their experiences at births, their techniques, skills and rituals, everyone we interviewed, including one Muslim dai, mentioned Shasti Ma, the goddess of childbirth. The dais talked about how they remembered or invoked her at the time of birth and the postpartum rituals. I was working on the Jeeva Project in an area called Jharkhand, one of the poorest and most medically underserved parts of India. But this is precisely where dais continue to meet the needs, as best they can, of birthing women—and where younger women continue to learn traditional birth work from the elders in their community. During one interview, a village woman named Himani Nandi, who was listening to this conversation about birth, told a story about Shasti Ma, which described her link to the more familiar Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom, and explained the custom of eating bhassi khanna (or day-old food) on the day after Saraswati Puja. This is not a renowned story, which you would find in fancy books on goddesses and Indian religion, but that’s
Author Vicki Penwell delves into one of the world’s greatest injustices: While a mother dies during childbirth every minute of every day, only 1% of these deaths occur in the developed world.
Midwife and researcher Judy Slome Cohain dissects currently available published research and finds that hospital birth is never safer than a planned, attended homebirth for low-risk women.
In this simple yet touching tale, midwife Gloria Lemay remembers a birth she attended by penning a letter to the baby, Rose, who is now a full-grown young woman.
A father retells the story of his family’s year in India leading up to the birth of his second son, Shepherd Ketan.
Moved by the thought that we should birth our children as we conceive them, a mother wonders what might happen if, 100 years from now, we conceive our children as we birth them—in a starkly lit hospital, monitors strapped on and specialists at the ready.