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Culture of Birth

Birth assistant in Fernie, British Columbia - Tanya Malcolm

There is frustration and division among midwives all over the world.  It makes me so sad. For some reason we can’t join forces, put aside the past, and focus on the future of childbirth.  Are we not all one? Mid~Wife. Woman centered care.  Governance, designations, politics and fear have no business in the birth room.  We are accountable to the women we serve, our sisters.  Is that not enough?

Recently the members of the Inner Council of Midwives of Color cut all ties from MANA (Midwife Alliance of North America) Their letter of intent is here

My response is:

i’m sorry the culture of birth has come to this. i would love to see the presentation on the history of african american midwives 1600 to present. i hope they don’t give up! i’m a woman of colour who believes that if i gave up every time i was overlooked because of my colour i wouldn’t know how strong i am. in a way it’s like birth…you don’t know you have so much to give until you keep giving and giving and giving. if you trust that your hard work is important, and don’t give up, and find support from people who love you, you can do it. our strength comes from perseverance…respect will follow.

I can only hope that the members of the ICTC (International Centre for Traditional Childbearing) keep giving.  Our work is important…

If you ask me this is a facet of birth worker burn out. It is time to join the BOLD movement!  Karen Brody, playwright, Birth Visionary, and right on mama has got the solution.  She recognized that our work is hard, and that birth workers, and mothers needed tools to cope with the pressures supporting pregnancy, and being pregnant put on us…enter Nap Quest and Fear To Freedom Birth There are many ways to be BOLD in this birth community…Karen will introduce you to your BOLD birth visionista self!
You may wonder why a Canadian woman of colour, working as a doula and childbirth educator in small town BC is blogging about international issues like this…because I believe these issues are not only affecting women of colour…many women are being dismissed by governing bodies across the continent.  Look at the BC College of Midwive’s guidelines and definitions of “High Risk” births.  They basically mean one thing…We can’t support you.  How is that mother centered care? Women need to be aware of the culture of birth today.  What does that mean? The culture of birth?
I think of it as the way our culture perceives birth, approaches birth, and what we believe about birth. It is clearly evident that many of the midwifery organizations across the globe do not stand united in their perception, approach, and belief about birth and midwifery care.  There are many cultures within the midwifery community, and we need to understand each other, respect each other, and most importantly learn from each other.
It is good timing for a conference about Human Rights in Childbirth panel discussions will cover questions like…
Who decides how a baby is born? Who chooses where a birth takes place? Who bears the ultimate responsibility for a birth and its outcome? What are the legal rights of birthing women? What are the responsibilities of doctors, midwives and other caregivers in childbirth? What are the rights and interests of the unborn, and how are they protected?

This sounds like birth policy I DO support.Once again Karen Brody is on point.  Go here to receive instructions about a SWEET discount to attend the conference webinar May 31st and June 1st! 
Shine On!