The Bauhauswife Blog — The Politics of Birth

Yolande Clark
Leaving Home, Wearing Masks

Leaving Home, Wearing Masks

  My family and I recently left Canada under stressful circumstances. We're now living in the tropics for the time being: worldschooling, learning Spanish, writing, loving, connecting with other people and families, and working to support freedom of thought, speech, and bodily integrity as much as possible.    I never could have possibly guessed—as recently as eight months ago—that I would end up experiencing threats of violence and even death, for speaking what I believe to be true--let alone that the majority of human beings on earth would be compelled to cover their faces when moving through the streets.    But in retrospect, the...

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Choose Your Birth: "Baby Steps" or Transformation?

Choose Your Birth: "Baby Steps" or Transformation?

You have probably heard the narrative that suggests that restoring humanity to birth depends on “improving birth” or “moving in the right direction” when it comes to institutional policies.   In other words, “baby steps." Here’s the thing though: as I’ve been working with my partner Emilee Saldaya to create our comprehensive course, “The Complete Guide to Freebirth”, I have been reminded again of how much this approach seems to me to come from the same mindset of scarcity and subordination upon which the entire industrial obstetric approach is predicated.  The idea that it takes “baby steps” to make change,...

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10 Things Your Midwife May Not Tell You (Which You Should Know!)

10 Things Your Midwife May Not Tell You (Which You Should Know!)

Midwifery has changed considerably in the past fifty years. Along with its elevated profile and legitimacy, the profession has undergone a significant shift towards medicalization.  In many cases, midwives work hand-in-hand with obstetricians and hospitals.   For some women, this is a good thing, but for others, who may be expecting midwifery to resemble a holistic, woman-centred relationship in which the mother is the complete authority (as was the case with traditional independent midwifery), regulated midwifery can present unexpected restrictions for women that may not always be made clear to them by their midwives.  Independent midwives or birth attendants may...

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Yolande Clark
Dear Midwives & Birth-Workers--Get Out of Our Vaginas

Dear Midwives & Birth-Workers--Get Out of Our Vaginas

Now that birth images and video footage are all over instagram (or rather, those few profiles and individuals and companies who have managed to get on the “list” are now exempt from being blacklisted while the remaining women get banned for posting their birth material, however innocuous), I think it’s time to let midwives and birth-workers in on a little secret: *it is not necessary for you to routinely put your hands on mother’s vaginas while their babies emerge*. It’s really not necessary for you to fondle women’s labias or clitorises, or to run your fingers along the introituses to...

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