Birthing globally is in crisis, and regurgitated myths don’t help. For example, under common misconceptions, birth is considered an event that is solely personal and decided on by each family; one that is relatively untouched by politics except for hospital and institutionalised policy. I assure you, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In the developing world, maternal and infant health is collapsing, despite some improvements arising from the ambitious and laudable United Nations Millennium Development Goal five. Half a million women in the poor regions of the planet continue to die each year in childbirth or pregnancy, an inexcusable figure which highlights the yawning gap in maternal conditions that exists between – and within – countries. One only needs to witness the poor health status and misapplied, often ill-planned health support for Australian Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islanders to see that these inequalities lie right in front of us.