16 July 2008

Vertical birthing in Peru

The Peruvian government is encouraging poor indigenous women to travel to birth centres to have their babies as opposed to having them at home. Too many women are dying or suffering from complications. In Peru, 185 die per 100,000 births. As a result, the birth centres are finding ways to integrate indigenous birthing practices into a medical environment, including vertical birthing, which is basically having the baby while standing up.

"Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed," the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth.
One photographer has documented the births of a number of Incan women in Cuzco and the images are spectacular:

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