Normal labour and birth sixth international conference
Cecilia Leslie, a student midwife from Scotland, reports on the sixth international normal labour and birth conference.
I am a student midwife in Scotland but I was born in Brazil – an amazingly beautiful and diverse country, but one where caesarean section rates are extremely high, midwifery practise is not legally recognised and the medical model of care is prevalent. In becoming a student midwife in the UK, where women-centred care is in the heart of the profession, I could reflect back on the ‘medical-centred care’ largely practiced in Brazil, and felt I owed it to all women and their babies to challenge this sad reality.
I desperately wanted Brazilian women – and all women for that matter – to be restituted with the power of giving birth in their own terms. I did not know where to start my journey to make this wish a reality but recently taking part in the normal labour and birth sixth international research conference, held in Grange over Sands, provided me with some answers I had been looking for.
Through research and its resulting evidence, we can challenge and change the archaic ‘opinion based practice’ which still happens in Brazil and in so many other countries. I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend this conference and meet so many midwives, student midwives and researchers who, like me, believe in the physiology of labour and birth. Among them also, was a group of Brazilians who have been trying to legalise the midwifery profession and to establish normality around childbirth in our home country.
I feel encouraged, challenged and inspired by the conference and the people I met there, as I know I am not alone in my plea for globally normalising childbirth. I would like to encourage all midwives and student midwives who are looking to enrich, innovate or consolidate their practice in any way, to attend as many conferences as possible, as they will no doubt provide many opportunities as well as a more dynamic perspective on midwifery – like this one provided me with.