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Sep/Oct - Half the Sky (2016) > Chapter Seven - Why do women die in Childbirth?

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message 1: by Ann (last edited Oct 20, 2016 12:12AM) (new)

Ann Girdharry (anngirdharry) | 89 comments I found the case study of Sri Lanka very interesting.
Sri Lanka seems to have made great strides in reducing maternal mortality.
The authors say, 'More broadly, Sri Lanka invests in health and education generally...'

Does anyone know what triggered this change? What gave that one country the on-going political will that so many other countries lack?


message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann Girdharry (anngirdharry) | 89 comments The only part of this chapter I didn't like was the criticism of Prudence's rural birth assistant (untrained) who had jumped up and down on her stomach.
She did so in a last-ditch attempt to save Prudence and the baby. Yes, she ruptured Prudence's uterus and Prudence ultimately died. However, I did not think it fair to criticise her. Who knows, perhaps this method has worked before, and she had no other resources at her disposal...


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann Girdharry (anngirdharry) | 89 comments I can see, too, how the authors used this story effectively to underline the need for trained birth assistants and that's why the story is important for this chapter.

Still, I felt it was disrespectful of the unnamed assistant.


message 4: by Cheylyn (new)

Cheylyn  Brown | 3 comments Ann, I think you're right, that the authors were trying to highlight the importance of training birthing assistants to help reduce maternal mortality.

I'm not going to lie, when I read it, I sat in shocked disbelief that someone would think it is okay to jump on a pregnant woman's belly. But thank you for bringing this issue up, because you made me think about this situation differently. As a middle-class American, I take for granted the fact that during my pregnancy I had access to health care, and my fears going into labor were minimal. I have to remember that not all women have this privilege. And your comments made me realize that this was two women who were in a scary, uncertain situation, and that the birth attendant was simply trying to help. Thank you for bringing up this topic and for helping me to remember to be more sympathetic to what that birth attendant was going through-- she was possibly just as terrified as the mother and I'm sure this was a desperate attempt to just get the baby out. So again, thanks for your insight!

It is easy, I think, to be sympathetic to the women who "star" in these stories, but we need to remember that the "secondary" characters are also products of these environments.


message 5: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments I was shocked that although so much was done in order to save the life of the mother - donating blood included, and then it was all in vain simply because the doctor didn't help her right away.

It only made me lose my confidence in doctors than I did already, and there was not much confidence before I read that book.
I am shocked that one can see here that women are considered less, and that many women would be saved if only they were men.


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