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Speaking Truth to Power: Childbirth Models on the Human Rights’ Frontier

by Betty-Anne Daviss, RM, MA
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1.25 CERP, 1.25 R-CERP, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Learning Format: Online Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: GOLD Midwifery 2019

This presentation traces how national and international efforts to improve childbirth care have graduated from disenfranchised social movements in the 1970s and 1980s to entrenchment of human rights in childbirth in UN declarations and the courts. Dynamic communities around the world that are rejecting the imposition of status quo dysfunctional pregnancy and childbirth systems and replacing them with more appropriate models of care will be highlighted. Using unorthodox means, such as employing non physicians to do cesareans, placing a psychologist instead of an obstetrician in charge of the caseroom, choosing to support instead of arrest and eliminate the traditional midwives, I present these iconoclastic models that work even under dire circumstances, in countries as diverse as China, Canada, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Hungary, Tanzania, Palestine and Mexico. Tackling the problems of the neoliberal drive for privatization and centralization of health care services and the bullying between and among the professions, I demonstrate how the use of radical, conscious change in birth practices, puts practitioners at their peril who choose to take their stand with childbearers, but places power and control in the right hands.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Name some principles of the Human Rights’ Declarations that can be used to establish childbirth rights but how goals such as the MDGs drive the neoliberal policies of privatization and centralization of services that are detrimental to low risk childbearers;

Objective 2: Name some communities that are fighting back and explain how their models deal with the problems created by hierarchical systems, including those that tackle the bullying between the medical profession and other professions and the bullying among practitioners in the oppressed female-dominated professions. To recognize that citizens of low resource countries have solutions from which we can learn, such as how to go about normal physiologic breech birth; and

Objective 3: Name 2 solutions to problems that appear to dominate the struggles of these communities.

Presentations: 13  |  Hours / CE Credits: 10.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks