Take a journey to Africa, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru to discover what Indigenous midwives did before modern medicine eclipsed them and their practice.
Discover the herbal medicines and methods used by indigenous midwives from the Himbas (Namibia, Africa), Yawalapitia (Brazil, SA), Kogis (Colombia, SA) and Andean (Peru, SA) people. Traditional midwives have assisted in births since the beginning of time. Many of them hold deep knowledge of natural birth skills that most modern obstetricians do not seek out or consider valuable. Tragically, many of these midwives are endangered of being persecuted and losing their practices. The medical industry sees them as either infringing on the mainstream medical discourse or as simply ignorant. As a opposed to benefiting form their experience and knowledge.
This film records midwives contributions to health care in their communities and questions the state of our current maternity health care. It suggests that a historical disregard for midwifery by modern medicine may be contributing to the current global increase in Caesarean section rates.
Medical/Cultural Anthropologist and Author of “Birth as American Rite of Passage,” Robbie Davis-Flyd, PhD. provides narration and insights into global and historical perspectives.
Historically in the United States, tough licensing laws have led to doctors monopolizing maternity health care, driving out the ancient wisdom of midwifery. In fact, there was period in medical history when a campaign ensued to abolish the midwife altogether (McCool & McCool, 1989). Even recently, up to 1986 it was illegal to practice midwifery in some states in America. "The United States is unique in the developed world in its history of criminalizing the practice of midwifery rather than fostering collaboration between midwives and physicians, and successfully integrating midwifery into the prevailing maternity care model (MANA, 2014)". Because of this historical shift away from midwifery, women have been ritualized into denying their supreme feminine force ~ creation, to 'Give Light.’
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