FEATURE // Emily Hill – Midwife


A woman giving birth in an earth birth house in rural Uganda. What are
you visualising? As a volunteer midwife working at Mother Health
International’s Birth House in 2014 I visualised – women moving
instinctually and finding the ‘right’ position to help them and
their baby; idealistic maybe. I saw labouring women moving freely
until they began pushing, then frequently lying flat of their backs to
push. Traditional practises for birth had been pushed aside for
reasons such experiences from birthing in government facilities and
training programmes for traditional midwives. Mother Health
International has been working to support upright birth positions for
the benefit of women and their unborn children. Through story-telling,
song and dance Traditional Midwives are reawakening to their knowledge
of the benefits of upright labour and birth. Enabling them to support
women to mobilise and adopt positions that are comfortable during
labour and birth. When returning in 2016, Upright Birth illustrations
were introduced as a visual aid for antenatal education and supportive
conversations with labouring women in the birth house.
The benefits of upright birth are well documented and historically
known. Nevertheless, throughout the world women in normal labour are
encouraged to birth laid on their backs, often with legs up in
stirrups. Birth workers have a responsibility to support free movement
in labour and birth. Thus supporting women’s innate understanding of
their childbirth journey. So that together we can work towards a more
upright future.
Gentle births with the encouragement of free movement in labour and
upright birth is widely accepted at Mother Health International Birth
House in rural Uganda. As birthing people of the world we can work
together to support each other to birth is a way that works best of us
and our baby during this precious time.

Emily will be joining us at Mama Social on Friday 14th July, 10am at The Showroom


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