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A women's affair

A women's affair

Ever since the beginning of time on all continents, giving birth has been an event experienced between women, and men were excluded from witnessing birth for a long time (hence midwives and not midhusbands!).

What about daddy? Incredibly, men weren't welome at the birth of their babies in the Western world until recently: 50 years ago it was unheard of! Up until the 18th century, male presence at the birth of a child was unwanted (and this included male doctors!). Today, surgeons and obstetricians often only come into the birthing room if they need to intervene, and otherwise, if everything goes to plan, the midwives take care of the birth.

Wise women
Each culture has their own type of midwife. In many socities, midwives were women of over 50 with their own children. In Egypt, midwives are known as dayas. They're always on call, they're renowned for their patience and they provide women with 100% natural care during childbirth. In Morocco, a midwife is called a qabla. She massages the woman's stomach and vulva with olive oil to make then softer and more supple and make the baby's passage easier. She also prepares herbal infusions made of mint, thyme, cloves and cinammon to ease the pain of the contractions. A world away from epidurals...


Parenting Editor
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Article Plan Childbirth around the world
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