Thursday, 16 October 2014


16/10/2014 is blog action day and OXFAM have asked bloggers around the world to take part. We are to post blogs on inequality. Inequality with regards to childbirth, don't get me started!

According to Oxfam 800 women die every day in childbirth. Just 5 of them are in high-income countries. The WHO have been saying for decades that educating local women to become midwives would put a serious dent in that awful number of losses. Making simple drugs available to these midwives like Syntometrine would help to reduce the numbers of PPH. Of course then they would need a fridge or portable cool box that I used to carry as a community midwife.

Also according to Oxfam there are 85 people who have as much wealth as half of the people on the planet combined. Who are these people? Gods? Unfortunately they did not give out names or addresses of the 85 so will have to do some more digging before I send out the begging letters.

Ironically, one of the richest nations of the world has very little in the way of equality when it comes to childbirth. The USA have a terrible record of forcing women into a medical model of care no matter what their risk factors are. They do not have midwifery led care and you have to see a doctor throughout your pregnancy and be delivered by a doctor as well. Doctors in the US seem to know nothing about normal labour and birth so how can women hope to birth normally? All they need to do is allow home births (banned in most states) and train midwives (not obstetric nurses) how to empower women to take charge of their birth and support them safely in their choices. Simple.

One young Indian lady that I booked told me that she wanted to lie down for her upcoming birth with an epidural in situ and have an episiotomy as a doctor removes her baby with forceps as this is what she went through in India at her first birth. I was speechless for a minute or two there. At the end of our hour long booking session she was so happy to be looking forward to birthing in a pool at the stunning birth center that I was working at then. Low risk women should not be given the medical model of care unless they have risk factors and even then they can labour normally with a bit of care and attention from midwives.

So, the answer to inequality within childbirth seems to be to train and pay more midwives to deliver midwifery led care for all women, whether they are rich or poor. Sorted.

Pain Free Labour books now available from Amazon to download (very cheap) if you are rich and have a kindle or in print if you are poor with no posh phone, kindle or PC (print books are more expensive). IS THAT INEQUALITY OR WHAT!