Nature’s Masterplan for Birth: Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond, the Way Nature Intended (2020) by Louise Pedersen and Anja Pedersen. Amazon Fulfillment. 224 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-659995-86-2; ISBN-10: 1-659995-86-8.
In this rapid-response article, the authors investigate the quickly shifting protocols for in-hospital and out-of-hospital births, and examine the decision making behind these changes. They ask whether COVID-19 will cause women, families, and providers to look at birthing in a different light, and whether this offers a testing ground for future policy changes to generate effective maternity care in the face of pandemics and other types of disasters.
This article discusses Birth with No Regret, a new model of birth care in Turkey in which, throughout parturition, the mother is cared for humanistically by an egalitarian, non-hierarchical team consisting of an obstetrician, midwife, and birth psychologist.
This is Part 2 of a conceptual “think piece”. Part 1 looked at four Stages of Cognition, relating each of them to an anthropological concept: Stages 1 and 2 encode closed, rigid, or concrete thinking. More open and fluid are Stage 3, cultural relativism (all ways are valid), and Stage 4, global humanism (we must seek ways that honor individual human rights).
Part 2 categorizes birth practitioners within these four Stages, while showing how ongoing stress can cause even the most fluid of thinkers to degenerate into Substage—a condition of cognitive regression, or “losing it,” that can result in obstetric violence. I note how ritual can help practitioners ground themselves at least at a Stage 1 level and offer ways in which they can rejuvenate and re-inspire themselves. I also describe the persecution that Stage 4 practitioners often experience from fundamentalist or fanatical Stage 1 practitioners and officials, often referred to as the “global witch hunt.”
This is a two-part article. Part One of this article describes four stages of cognition and their anthropological equivalents to better understand both the resistance to and the acceptance of pre- and perinatal psychology and other ways of thinking about birth. Part Two will appear in the Winter 2019 issue.
Ways of Knowing about Birth is a compilation of Robbie Davis-Floyd’s writings spanning thirty years. The selections in this volume offer valuable insights for many readers, from students of midwifery, anthropology and women’s studies, to practicing midwives and obstetricians, to women who are seeking to inform themselves about their own childbirth care options.