I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. While at the LLL conference a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a complementary copy of this month's Mothering Magazine. Folks, this is an EXCELLENT edition. I read it from cover to cover and loved every story. The features included, "Cesarean Birth in a Culture of Fear," "Homebirth in Holland," and "The Legacy of Black Midwives," and also a story on the benefits of extended breastfeeding! I loved reading this issue.
In writing about cesareans, Wendy Ponte, may not know it, but she has the fine makings of a book outline here. Her article was so well written, thorough, and knowledgeable. She quotes all the right folks and draws all the right conclusions and makes a very rational argument for lowering the rate of cesareans, while at the same time showing why they may continue to go up. Pregnant women should be reading articles like this one in the doc's or midwife's waiting room.
Birth in Holland took me back to The Netherlands. This American mama, married to a Dutchman and living in the city of Utrecht, writes about her homebirth there and how vivid the contrast is when birth is truly seen as normal. Part of my enjoyment of this story, is the teller's view of Dutch culture juxtoposed to American. She also writes of Utrecht, a city I walked the streets of when I visited The Netherlands several years ago while attending a Midwifery Today conference. Its ancient cobblestone streets still beckon me back. I loved how she writes that no one ever gave her a pregnancy test. When she presented herself as pregnant- eveyone just believed her! From there the story flows forward with little tidbits of delight all along the way... especially as she makes comparisons with her first birth in America (you know, that place with the best healthcare in the world...)
Black Midwives is about Miss Shafia Monroe, and her organization (The International Center of Traditional Childbearing). I've had the pleasure of meeting her and presenting at her annual conference a couple of years ago. She is a true pioneer and she was in fact, honored at this year's MANA conference. She was not in attendance due to a family emergency, but her husband and several of her staff were there. The article was a nice overview of the organization's and Shafia's accomplishments.
So if you have access, you might want to pick up a copy. When you finish reading it, perhaps you can just happen to leave it in a OB waiting room.