“where are the Post Op Mattresses?” she shouted at me.
“I’m sorry Deb we are max capacity and are using all of them”
“this is UNACCEPTABLE!” she threw her hand up in exasperation.

She had every right to be upset our protocol was that all post op moms got special mattresses that made their beds more comfortable, and dispersed their weight a little more evenly.  I was an active participant in 70 births at the birth Center. 70 births and not one maternal or fetal death, no brain damage from hypoxia, no hemorrhages that were not well managed by medication or intervention.  We had excess supplies, three meals a day and snack packs for breastfeeding moms.  You could labor in a tub or a shower, with a ball or a bench. there was endless hot water, and copious amounts of clean icey drinking water.

Cross the equator with me, step outside the Air-Con and into Belle’s place of employment. Belle works in the Philippines where mothers and babies are dying daily, midwives are overworked, clean drinking water is a real issue.  Moms are malnourished, bleeding is catastrophic, birth is scary.  Post op mattresses don’t exist, quite honestly you are lucky to have a clean bed, or a bed at all. While the US complains that the eggs are cold, the 3rd world is dealing with infection, abuse, and death.

I love birth, births where moms are supported, babies have a fighting chance, and healthcare providers meet a minimum standard of knowledge.

I want that for everyone.  I want women globally to have a birth where they are safe, where they are cared for, where they have access to a skilled and loving midwife.  I want to be immersed in birth in places where birth is not a joy but a fear so that maybe, just maybe things will change.


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