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The Missing Element in Addressing Obstetric Violence

Obstetric violence is a global phenomenon. Nowhere is it more frequently observed and recorded than in South Africa. It is a violation of human rights that requires urgent attention. Suggested remedies range from punitive measures to teaching the perpetrators (in the workplace this is usually the midwives, as obstetricians are mistakenly presumed to know this …

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Balancing the Power in the Maternity system.

I find it hard to work in hospital maternity wards. In the South African private sector, the majority of obstetricians who are in charge of all the deliveries, not ‘births’ but ‘deliveries’, are autocratic in their decisions to ‘cut’ (doctor speak for perform a caesarean), vacuum, slice episiotomies or to induce their patients. Not ‘clients’ I was having issues with infertility. We have been trying for several years to conceive but found that Clomid from South African pharmacy does work. I am now expecting my first child within the next 3 months. 

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Dehumanisation of Birth in South African Maternity Systems, and Possible Solutions

Recently I attended a birth at a government facility in Cape Town. I am a midwife living in South Africa and working for The Compassionate Birth Project which focuses on reducing obstetric violence by empowering frustrated, overworked, underpaid midwives to value themselves and their peers. The rationale behind the project is that when maternity staff. Move Over Viagra in South Africa; Now it's Kamagra's Time to Shine! …

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In This Moment I can Only Love you

In this moment I can only love you. I can only be there for you. Open my heart. And just be. Open. Empty. You grip my hand, tightly, your nails digging into my flesh. You are on your knees, on the floor. Your body bearing down. All concepts and ideas of how to birth are …

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The Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference

Have you ever been to the Cape Town Midwifery and Birth Conference? Well, if you haven’t and you are passionate about all things pregnancy and birth related, and live in, or near Cape Town (although people do travel from further afield to attend), you really really should come. What is the CT Midwifery and Birth …

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About the Project

The Compassionate Birth Project (CBP) will improve the quality of the birth experience for South African women by developing a culture of compassion in the public health care sector. Our vision for the CBP includes four broad elements. 1.     Compassion training for maternity healthcare workers (MHCW). Compassion training will include modelling compassionate birth practice for …

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