1st Edition

Birth Without Doctors
Conversations with traditional midwives

ISBN 9780415846264
Published February 12, 2013 by Routledge
222 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Most women giving birth in rural communities throughout the Third World cannot enjoy the ''benefits'' of modern medical assistance. They are usually too expensive and too far away. This book is the result of journeys and conversations between the author, traditional midwives and mothers which took place over several years in Malaysia and Indonesia. It describes traditional birthing practices and the communities in which they have arisen. For normal births the safety record is impressive, but so too is the reassurance of ritual and the incorporation of birthing into family and society. It is interesting to discover that many practices are based not only on religious understandings but also on sound herbal medical precautions. The book's point is not merely to demonstrate the skill of the traditional midwives, nor even to challenge what seems to be the medical view that pregnancy is an illness, but to give an insight into worlds where ''barefoot'' midwifery is the norm. Originally published in 1991

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. In the Beginning Part I. Trekking in Thailand 2. Into Northern Thailand 3. Mothers as Midwives: With the Lahu in Northern Thailand 4. Are the Spirits Happy?: Birth amongst the Akkha 5. Tradition Unchanged: Birth amongst the Karen Part II. Travelling in Indonesia 6. Into Indonesia 7. When the Spirit Moves: Midwifery and Shamanism amongst the Bataks 8. A Tradition of Care: Traditional Midwifery amongst the Minangkabau 9. A Simple Affair: Birth amongst the Toraja Part III. Living in Malaysia 10. When the Midwife is a Man: Birth amongst the Orang Asli 11. A Tradition under Threat: Traditional Midwifery in the Malay Kampongs Postscript 12. Further Thoughts Bibliography Glossary Index

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