Blog Post 3- Birth- Katherine Phillips

Part 1:

As a new mother it is already hard enough to maybe fathom that you have a life growing inside of you and choosing how you want to birth it you have to factor in cost, safety, efficiency. In America from not only readings but my own observation of people that are friends and family, I would definitely say that most births here in America are medicalized.  More than often  women will give birth under the direct care of the hospital. Not only because of maybe the safety reasons involved, but the direct care,  the access to medicine, and updated technology the hospital provides. Birth differs country to country and women to women.

In the Netherlands according to the (de Jonge A 2009) article shows that about 60.7% of women plan to give birth at home and most of these women were 25 and older and previously given birth to two or more children. Only 30.8% intended to give birth in the hospital. Yet only out of 60% about 30% of those mothers who intended to give birth did it at home and it is unclear to determine whether or not it is safe to give birth at home. Another study conducted in the Netherlands about the perinatal morality rate during the first 24 hours of delivery and the first week after delivery, researchers discovered there was no significant difference between women who chose to give birth at home and those who wanted to have a medicalized birth.  “It is safe to conclude that women can safely choose where they want to give birth.”(de Jonge A 2009) This provides a comforting and more of a warming environment for the women giving birth a home instead of the hospital.

The inuit culture child birth, according to, ” The Inuit Way” states , ” traditionally  the mother is often assisted in giving birth by an older women experienced in childbirth” also known as midwifery . Although it is starting to become more modernized and more women want to give birth through medicalization, they are trying to keep the tradition alive. “there is a strong support among inuit women for the return of traditional midwifery practices”.  The inuit midwives, student midwives, and maternity workers hold special positions, they have grown up in the community and know the fears and frustrations of the women they serve within their community.( Daviss) This birth method in this culture promotes a closer bond within  the women in the tribe, as well as a bond with the mother and child in the comforts of their own home.

In Vietnam The Hmong culture  prefers  home birth over any other method. Around 70% choose home birth. Even though it is traditional and highly preferred It is very dangerous for home birth for these women because ethnic women are 50 % more likely to die especially in the rural mountains. ( Ahlmark, Nick, Nicole).

In comparison to America overall I noticed not only the absence of men not present during childbirth within these other cultures. Also other countries home births are more traditional and important aspects of birth as opposed to America.


de Jonge A, van der Goes B, Ravelli A, Amelink-Verburg M, Mol B, Nijhuis J, Gravenhorst J, Buitendijk S.: “New figures from the Netherlands on the safety of home births”

Ahlmark, Nick and Nicole Precel: “The Mountain Midwives of Vietnam”

Daviss, Betty-Anne: “Heeding Warnings from the Canary, the Whale, and the Inuit”

Part 2:


Although there are many ways to interpret what is going on this photo, the first thing I noticed is the distinct separation that has been created between the mother and her child. Based on her body language, it is easy to conclude that she could very well be one of the thousands of women suffering from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression refers to the severe and long lasting sadness that some new mothers face following giving birth. This image reinforces the dominant idea that  women are highly emotional individuals in comparison to their male counterparts; the mother is fighting an internal  battle as the father remains focused on their child.  In addition, this image illustrates the less glamorous and joyous side of pregnancy by showcasing a negative aspect of the childbirth process.


2 thoughts on “Blog Post 3- Birth- Katherine Phillips

  1. Hello! After this weeks lessons I was shocked to see all of the different options in giving birth based on culture. The Hmong culture is very interesting to me. When the process of birth is over and the family buries the placenta under the bed and pours the baby’s bath water on it for a month that really showed how spiritual their culture is. I think I have become very interested in their culture because the American culture is nowhere near that spiritual. America is more so focused on the science and logic of things. I find myself thinking in those same terms after growing up in this culture. The biomedicine system could greatly improve when dealing with the diversity of cultures that seek medical attention with compromise. Maybe by letting the Hmong take the placenta with them to bury might not be such a bad idea. Many people would rather not seek medical attention because of issues like that.

  2. That is a great point that in other countries it looks like men are not present or an important part in during childbirth. I did not even think of that after reading about the other countries’ birth cultures. I found it interesting to see how home births are so popular among other nations but here in the US they are not. In part 2, the picture you posted really showed a different side of post childbirth. It’s something mothers may think won’t happen to them. I can see postpartum depression being very difficult to overcome but a new baby in your life is a huge change and must take time to adjust to. The picture you posted could also look into dads being the caretaker versus mom all the time. It is common now to see stay at home dads instead of stay at home moms.

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