Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
About the Book:
Judy Gabriel gives humble, authentic voice to the personal experiences and practices of scores of traditional midwives in rural Mexico. The midwives talk about their childhoods, marriages, losses, rituals, and techniques. The rich narratives describe childbirth before modern medicine redefined it.
Intended to engage, enrich, and inspire, Gabriel’s work tells of the women who received generations of babies into their hands when knowledge about childbirth came from women’s bodies, from instinct, from dreams, and from other women. The stories unfold in the context of high-intervention obstetrics and soaring Cesarean rates, a world that often degrades women and violates the sanctity of birth.
I was unsure of what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at the content in this book full of stories. As I read I was amazed at while some of the practices of the midwives from Mexico were a bit barbaric in our modern medical minds, they had some very practical ways of dealing with things we classify as emergencies. The perspective of this book being written from the standpoint of a doula, that is knowledgable, but not medical was especially appealing to me. Ms. Gabriel takes down the interviews with a long list of midwives from all over Mexico. As we travel with her over time and years, you will find yourself wondering what we can learn from the hands of these skilled women that have fallen by the wayside.
This would be a great book to gift to any midwife that you know, or if you are a birth worker, to have on your shelf to look back on and learn from.
You can purchase it here… Touching Bellies, Touching Lives...