Midwifery & Feminism

“Midwifery work is feminist work. That is to say, midwives recognize that women’s health care has been subordinated to men’s care by a historically male, physician-dominated medical industry. Midwifery values woman-centered care and puts mothers’ needs first. Though not all midwives embrace the word feminism (the term admittedly carries some baggage), I maintain that providing midwifery care is an expression of feminism’s core values (that women are people who have intrinsic rights).
–Jon Lasser, in Diversity & Social Justice in Maternity Care as an Ethical Concern, Midwifery Today, issue 100, Winter 2011/2012

I tend to define feminism as believing in the inherent worth and value of women and acting on that belief. I see birth care as a crucial, basic feminist issue and midwifery and most types of birth activism as feminist work. While, as Lasser notes above, not all midwives embrace the term, in my personal experience some of the most beautiful, loving words and actions about the value and worth of women are exhibited by midwives.

2 thoughts on “Midwifery & Feminism

  1. Pingback: When Brits Called the Midwife Instead of the Doctor : Ms. Magazine Blog

  2. Pingback: When Brits Called the Midwife Instead of the Doctor « Nina Jacinto

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