Rules for the length of the second stage of labour imposed on women by bureaucratic hospital and medical systems do not serve women or take into account natural birth physiology or the individual differences of women.
I imagined how through the centuries, African people had been giving birth in their thatch roofed dwellings, now replaced by glistening tin roofs that do not insulate the home from the heat of the strong African sun. Almost akin to the hospitals and clinics where African women now give birth and that do not insulate them from the emotional and physical trauma of medicalized childbirth.
The obstetricians at Vincent Pallotti hospital have decided to no longer provide a back-up service for my practice. Apart from the loss of the medical back-up as a professional midwife, the greater loss is to mothers and women who are not able to choose this private hospital for medical back-up when they have chosen me as a professional midwife.
Megan and Russel live on a dairy farm in Mooi River,one hour’s drive from Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulunatal, South Africa. Russell, who grew up on a farm in the Underberg (meaning Below the Mountains), manages the large dairy herd and pastures, the beef cattle and maize plantations, while Megan had to adjust to the isolated lifestyle [...]