Issue 97

Midwifery Today Issue 97Theme: Cultural Aspects of Birth

There is no escaping it: Culture plays an important role in shaping birth practices and influences—sometimes dictates—the choices available to birthing women. From the pressures of time in modern Western societies, to the application of cord-burning techniques in developing nations, to the diverse frameworks for understanding postnatal blood, this issue considers various cultural aspects of birth and birth practices worldwide.

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Midwifery and Women’s Health in Peru: Visions and Dreams

Many rural women in the Andes that used to give birth…based in their ancestral midwifery knowledge are now being forced to give birth at public health centers. Most of them have hospitalized births now, in cold environments and with routine practices that do not respect the natural process of birth. Read more…. Midwifery and Women’s Health in Peru: Visions and Dreams

Birth with the Amish: A Unique Experience

A Michigan midwife shares her experiences attending an Old Order Amish community who have no cars and no electricity but an abundance of faith and family support.

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Culture within Culture

It is easier to see how a woman’s culture affects her than to face how our culture affects us in relating to her. What if our cultures have moral differences? What if we identify with a birth culture that saves mothers and babies? Read more…. Culture within Culture

Celebrity Births: The Good, The Bad, The Influence

Homebirths and scheduled c-sections are all the rage in Hollywood, but how do celebrity birth practices affect pregnant women?

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Birth the Filipino Way

The author, who served as a missionary midwife among the urban poor of metro Manila for 20 years, recounts the highs and lows of working in a matriarchal society rife with superstitions and radically different standards of care for the rich and the poor. Read more…. Birth the Filipino Way

Our Decade of CHANGE

Another hopeful sign is that we are closer to reaching critical mass. When 15 percent of the people know the truth about birth and will tell their friends, then the whole world will know. How can we not have a violent society when the violence begins at birth? Read more…. Our Decade of CHANGE

Cultural Diversity in Childbirth Education

The author considers how diverse family dynamics and cultural practices inform her work as a childbirth educator.

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Birthing with Orthodox Jewish Women

Learn about the unique cultural customs of birthing Orthodox Jewish women from a midwife who regularly attends this tight-knit community.

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Cross-Cultural Birth: It’s a Human Rights Issue

What happens when the dominate medical culture collides with local and immigrant cultures? Find out as Jenna Humphreys explores cross-cultural birth in the Dominican Republic and in California.

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Birth Stories from a Mountain Midwife

A rural midwife tenderly recounts the stories of two women she served.

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Blood: A Private Issue?

Cultural traditions can dictate special protocols for the postnatal woman and determine how much blood is “normal.” Author Michele Klein examines cultural ideas about postnatal blood in Asia, the Middle East and on the Internet.

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Friedman’s Curve vs. the Pure Heart Approach to Labor

Friedman’s Curve can be helpful in assessing the progress of labor, but few women perfectly follow any curve. Sometimes the “pure heart formula” is the midwife’s best tool in supporting a woman during labor.

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