First published at Gisele’s Blog, written by Mayra Calvette
June was historic for the Humanization of Childbirth in Brazil.
One of the most popular TV program from Brazil, Fantástico, had a report about home birth on the 10th June. It showed a beautiful home birth video, with a midwife, two doulas and a neonatologist accompaniment.
The obstetrician Dr. Jorge Kuhn, spoke respectfully in favor of home birth as an option for low risk pregnancies. On the following Monday, the Regional Medicine Council of Rio de Janeiro – CREMERJ – opened a complaint against the doctor.
The movement for birth humanization in Brazil has grown in geometric progression. Every day many adherents. Every day more women empowered and sharing their experience. The complaint of this doctor, an advocate for a gentle birth, was the push for a great movement. The news quickly spread throughout Brazil, mainly through social networks.
Within a week thousands of people were organized in several cities of Brazil, to make the first Home Birth March. At the end of next week, June 16 and 17, around 5000 people in over 30 cities in Brazil were part of this revolution. Only in Sao Paulo were in 1500 women, parents, children and professionals marching for the rights of choice and freedom!
I shivered to see the strength of the movement and how quickly it spread. This is the advantage of being connected by an ideal and with the help of social media.
This march was similar with what happened in some other countries, 30 years ago in England and 20 years ago in New Zealand. Now it’s Brazil’s time!
This was a march for the freedom of choice and respect for women and babies during birth. Women have the right to choose how and where they want to give birth, with correct information, respect and appropriate orientations. A march for women who have low-risk pregnancies and want home birth are not seen as inconsequential and people who put their lives and their babies lives at risk. For doctors, nurses, obstetricians, midwives and doulas who support these women not to be seen and treated as outcasts.
The safety of home birth should no longer be under discussion, since many studies show it’s safe for low risk pregnancies, accompanied by qualified professional and a referral hospital. No wonder that in some developed countries this is an option that is part of the health system.
We want to clarify that we don’t want to convince anybody to have a homebirth, we want to show one more option. If you have any kind of fear, of uncertainty, if you have any disease, if your prenatal indicate any problem – the best place to have your baby is at the hospital.
We are not protesting against the hospital birth. We are protesting against the violence during childbirth, whether emotional or physical. A study in Brazil showed that 25% of Brazilian women suffer some kind of violence during childbirth. We want women to be respected, to receive a loving care wherever they choose to have their baby – at home, in the hospital or birth center.
Respect for Birth is respect for woman and baby!
May we one day ensure that all women have the rights for a gentle, respectful and private birth, without suffering and no damage to their body and their baby, wherever they wish to birth them.
“Never doubt that a small group of aware and engaged people can change the world.” Margaret Mead
Special Video from the Home Birth March
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