Friday, March 25, 2011
Birthrights is a wonderful new series premiering on Al-Jazeera English. It is a "series exploring maternal health and the power, politics and poverty that impacts it around the world.". The following three episodes are some of their first. The first one is about Hungarian OB turned home birth midwife, Agnes Gereb, and her imprisonment for attending home births in Hungary, a country where it is legal to choose your place of birth, but illegal to attend birth at home if you are a licensed practitioner! The second episode follows the lives of women who have undergone obstetric fistula repair surgery in Ethiopia. Obstetric fistulas are holes that develop, usually due to the prolonged pressure of a baby's head, between the rectum or vagina, leaving women incontinent of either urine or feces, rendering them also socially isolated. These injuries come about largely due to unskilled birth attendants, and a lack of resources. The third episode here follows a group of midwives traversing Ethiopia hoping to change that by either creating birth centers, or training traditional birth attendants, who have no training. Great series, I can't wait to watch more. Enjoy!!