Birth in South Africa The Travelling Midwife

The Travelling Midwife 2011

Breede River View

I set off on my road trip to Kwazulunatal after the spectacular birth of Savannah to Tatum and Damien at 22h30 on Sunday evening. Tatum’s mother had given birth to all her children by caesarian section and her sister had also given birth by caesarian section. Tatum was desperate to trade this legacy for one she intrinsically felt was more healthy.

Breede River View
Breede River Valley near Swellendam

Her pregnancy was uncomplicated except by the roller coaster of emotions that accompanied her journey of discovery. What were the real issues that had prevented a normal birth in her family and was she afflicted by the same causes?


I must be frank – Tatum has the most petite perfect body and and her hips looked, to say the least, small! So, honestly, I had my own personal anxieties. Nevertheless, a good midwife reserves judgement and waits. A good midwife gives women the chance they deserve to give birth naturally. How can one know prior to labour whether or not a woman and a baby will succesfully navigate the journey of birth? Statements such as ‘your hips are too small’ or ‘the baby’s too big’ are dished out by obstetricians to women ad lib. Too big for what? or too small for what?

The joke is on me, because Tatum’s baby came so quickly I was not even able to get there in time for the actual birth. And the baby was large at 3,9kg. So here’s to all the disbelievers: think again before you make a judgement call. Nature is wondrous and expanding.

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