Chapter

Introduction

Robbie Davis-Floyd, Lesley Barclay, Betty-Anne Daviss and Jan Tritten

in Birth Models That Work

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520248632
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943339 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248632.003.0001
Introduction

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Birth is one of the most powerful of all human experiences, yet it can also be one of the most disempowering. There are examples of societies and systems that provide women with true choice, where their desires and wishes and the normal physiology of labor and birth are honored, respected, and trusted. This chapter concerns those lighthouses and their role as beacons for those searching for philosophical and concrete ways to improve maternity care. It shows that good birth models work—they can combine the best of obstetrical care with the best of contemporary scientific research, ancient wisdom, basic common sense, and compassion to create systems of knowledge, skills, and practice which truly serve mothers, babies, and families. The chapter extrapolates the characteristics of models that do not work from the enormous body of literature written by epidemiologists, midwives, and social scientists which describes and critiques the scientific, humanistic, and economic deficiencies of contemporary obstetrics in dozens of countries.

Keywords: birth models; societies; maternity care; scientific research; women

Chapter.  11682 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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