Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brazilian women rebel against cesarean births

This article made me want to stand up, raise my fist in the air, and sing something about solidarity and the power of women. If you think that you can't change things, that your voice is too small and too insignificant, remember that huge changes in maternity care have come about from regular people like you. Power to the people!

Here's an excerpt from the article by the AP: Brazilian women rebel against cesarean births.
More women are pushing for more of a say in childbirth — whether by C-section or naturally, at home or in a hospital, with a midwife or a medical doctor. As patients in doctors' offices and street protesters reject the pressure to have surgical births, the federal government is investing billions of dollars into a natural childbirth campaign, including the building of hospitals devoted to maternal care.

"We need to have a serious discussion in this country to see what can be done to change this culture," said Olimpio Moraes Filho, one of the head doctors with the Brazilian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Women are starting to rebel, and they should."

A tipping point came in July, when a medical regulating agency in Rio de Janeiro forbade doctors from doing home births and labor coaches known as doulas from helping out in hospitals, saying "there are many complications possible during labor that require immediate medical attention."

In response, women organized marches in 13 cities. In Sao Paulo, they bared their breasts and carried posters reading "Our Children, Our Decision" while chanting "Brazil, don't follow Rio's example." They enacted natural births using dolls covered with Portuguese words reading "Born Free."


  1. Wow! That sounds amazing! I am glad these women stood up! Brazil has one of the highest elective C-section rates in the world. Ihated being forced into the C-section of my second child, for lack of doctors trained in vaginal breech birth, I wish them luck!

  2. Makes you kind of wonder if it is all worth it, if even at the start it seems so upstream. Choosing to walk to school really shouldn't be such a trial. Hope the rest of your daughter's school journey goes more smoothly.


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