Ur Place

February 25, 2008

Pioneering midwife touts ‘orgasmic birth’

Filed under: Lajme --- News — halfevil @ 5:58 pm

Some women can experience a sort of birth ecstasy, says Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin, Cayla Whitehead
Ina May Gaskin, 69, a midwife who never formally studied nursing, has helped to bring back home birth and lay midwifery from the brink of extinction in America. Here, Gaskin measures the growth of Cayla Whitehead’s abdomen while teaching a class in midwifery at The Farm in Summertown, Tenn.

Mark Humphrey / ASSOCIATED PRESS

SUMMERTOWN, Tenn. – Despite living on a commune in rural Tennessee, Ina May Gaskin has had the kind of career success most people only dream about.

A midwife who never formally studied nursing, Gaskin has helped to bring home birth and lay midwifery back from the brink of extinction in the U.S. An obstetrical maneuver she learned from the indigenous Mayans of Guatemala has made it into scientific journals and medical textbooks, and her insistence on the rights of a birthing mother empowered a generation of women to demand changes from doctors and hospitals.

With a lifetime of accomplishment, the 67-year-old Gaskin has earned the right to slow down. But that is the farthest thing from her mind.

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