(Great book, I highly recommend: It’s a fictional story about a midwife in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia)

I was feeling a bit more adventurous today and decided to write a post about midwifery. Sometimes, I feel as if this blog only reflects a certain part of me. Those who know me in real life may know my ever-evolving interest in women’s birthing practices (particularly, midwifery and natural birthing). My interest was sparked around November in 2008 when I just so happened to be working on a midwifery essay for my Women’s Studies class and got invited to a home birth of a close family friend. My mom was acting as the doula and my sister and I were told we could come along as well. The two midwifes that attended the birth were so amazing and calm. Our close family friend was able to put a bench at the edge of her bed so the rest of the children could be there for the birth. As the birthing was happening, a complication arose and the midwives felt it was best to take her to the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, the baby was born and our family friend and her husband came home looking as happy as ever! Although the complete home birth didn’t take place, the whole process was amazing. I loved the atmosphere of excitement and celebration. That week I began to really research midwifery and I became fascinated with it. I learned about the medicalization of birthing throughout women’s heath history and about how midwives were shunned from society. I learned about Aboriginal midwives in Northern Canada and took an interest in ancient midwifery practices. I learned that midwifery was about choice and¬†autonomy. I was riveted.

Here I am four years later, still interested in midwifery and how it helps women. Apparently, I’m not the only one. I attended a doula meeting not too long ago and the women told me that there is a huge shortage of midwives and doulas in Nova Scotia– one doula that I met told me that she had to turn down at least 7/8 births last summer because her schedule was completely booked.

It’s scary to think that women who are looking for midwives can’t have access to them. I feel that there needs to be a major shift in the way we view midwives. Everywhere else in the world (Europe included), midwifery is used as a birthing option. Here in North America, it’s hardly used at all and as a consequence, unneeded medical intervention is administered which can cause harm to the mom and the baby and take away from the natural experience of childbirth.

Anyway, my love of midwifery is no secret. I just love it. I love everything about it. Last year I even thought about starting belly-painting sessions for expecting mums! It didn’t end up working out but at least I got to paint a couple bellies! I used non-toxic paint/safe paint.

I practiced painting on my legs too when there were no bellies around.

If you’re still reading this and wanting to learn more I’d highly suggest the documentary ‘The Business of Being Born’ which is available on Netflix. Here’s the trailor:

Here is a BBC programme about midwifery in Liberia which I found recently though I do want to warn about the graphic content before you watch it:

Oh! I also wrote a midwifery article for the SMU Journal which can be found here!