There’s something that we need to talk about.
It is one of the most pressing human rights issues that we face as a planet today.
It affects every single human being. There’s no getting away from it…
We need to talk about human rights in childbirth.
We need to talk about the unrelenting degrading and humiliating treatment women are subjected to on a daily basis. We are seen as brainless vessels, through which our children are delivered into this world and in this modern world it is an absolute tragedy.
If we dare to make a decision or take an action that is not congruent with the societal norm, we are bullied into making the ‘right’ choice, we are bombarded with language suggestive of us not being good enough mothers, we are judged by our nearest and dearest.
However, there is one sect of society that does show us the respect that we deserve. And that is that of the midwives. I mean the kind of midwives that truly believe in a woman’s ability to make her own choices, to tune into her own intuition and follow her own unique path to giving birth.
But these midwives are silenced. They can’t add their voice to the campaigns for improving maternal rights, because if they do they are met with a society that is determined to shut them up, take away their livelihoods and even imprison them.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the cases of Agnes Gereb, Martina Görner and Elizabeth Catlin. It’s a disgrace.
The thing that all of these women did wrong? They listened to the women in their care and provided them with the care that they wanted. They gave women power. And in a paternalistic society, that is a crime.
So, I want to give midwives their voices back. I want them to speak up and be heard. To tell the world what it is to be a midwife. What it is unlock the innate power of the female spirit through the birth of a child. It is an art, not a science. It is an honour and it is one that every true midwife is humbled by and respectful of.
Midwives of the world… tell me your stories, tell me why you love what you do, tell me what maternity care *should* look like, tell me why the current system is damaging the very families it was set up to protect, lay it all out. Let the world know the truth.
I know you can’t do this openly, I know you fear for your livelihoods, for your freedom. So, this is what I am proposing- I want you to send me a letter. It can be handwritten or typed. Write it anonymously and send it to me. I will share your words with the world, I will tell them what you need them to hear, I will be your voice. And together we will change the face of maternity care. Together we will make sure that our daughters don’t suffer through the same ordeals that we have. Together we will make birth better.
Here’s the address:
Mrs C Mulholland,
Do It Like A Mother,
861 London Road,
(You can email me if you prefer- firstname.lastname@example.org however I can’t promise your anonymity this way… what with the potential of cyber hackers, etc.)
I can’t wait to read your stories and get your voices heard. Please, please do share with your colleagues and with anyone that has left midwifery, too. The more voices the better. The more midwives that tell the truth, the more of us that call-out the current system, the bigger the impact, the quicker the momentum and the faster the change will begin.
If you want to talk about the campaign or share it on social media, please do and us the hashtag #TheVoiceOfAMidwife