Angelina the Midwife

I just discovered the most amazing videos over on You Tube about a traditional midwife working in Mexico. I’m sure many of you have probably seen them already, but I was just blown away!! It’s amazing to watch the way she uses her hands to massage, assess, palpate…turn a breech baby. A midwife’s greatest tool is her hands. I wonder how many of the women I see in the clinic come from traditional midwifery practices like this. American midwifery must seem very different to them. At it’s heart, I think the respect and tenderness and kindness to pregnant women remains the same, but we could learn so much from traditional practices like this. It makes me want to quit my job, fly down to Mexico and study with her for a year. In any case, enjoy!

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

This entry was posted in Birth Education, Homebirth, Labor and Birth, Midwifery, Myth, Folklore and Ritual. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

7 Comments

  1. Posted December 11, 2007 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It’s funny you should say that. That midwife who I wrote about in that post is moving to Mexico this month to work with traditional midwives in Chiapas, Mexico.

  2. Posted December 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    What wonderful videos–I hadn’t seen them before, thanks for sharing! The atmosphere isn’t so different from home birth here in the US, but she has so much knowledge you can feel the effect of generations of experience behind her–we are largely broken off from that tradition here.

  3. Tracey
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Hi
    that was really special to watch and totally uplifting.
    I am a Doula from the Uk but now live in Cancun where there is an alarming 80% c section rate. Watching this restored my faith and encouraged me to keep trying. It also makes me want to run to Chiapas as soon as possible.
    Tracey

  4. Posted December 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    These are beautiful. I felt so privileged to get to see these. Mental notes all over the place for the next birth. I have a clearer picture of the one I am seeking.

    But I also felt deprived as I watched the way the midwife touched and loved these wimmin’s bodies. I think that wimmin who are doulas or who are very present in birthing communities can access that sort of care through friends who are practitioners. But for the rest of us who don’t really “fit”, I think the care we receive, even from midwives who we can encourage to care about us over the nine months, is less of this kind. There’s a barrier. I know I worked really hard to climb over it with my last pregnancy. I was also really struck BAM by the imposed artificial split between midwifery care and doula work caused by the insurgence of the medical establishment. I intuitively understood that midwives had done more, had been more. But when you become a professional, a “professional” finds a niche, becomes part of a union, has people who supervise and watch to make sure they don’t do work that’s “beneath” their new class. What’s left over is passed on to those who aren’t accredited, who aren’t legally able to do the work of a “professional”. Hence the artificial split that cuts many midwives off from the kind of feeling, healing work this woman is seen doing here. And yes, I do understand that there have always been wimmin whose job it was to take care of the post partum mother. But for wimmin who couldn’t afford this kind of service, who were expected to rise from the labour bed and get back to work, the midwife was probably the primary source of loving care followed by wimmin in the family who took care of the new mother post partum, not a stranger who came in primarily to mother the mother. There would have been mothers and aunties and sisters and all that. The more evolved we supposedly become, the more artificial compartments we seem to spawn cutting us off one from the other and turning wimmin’s work done with pride and confidence like this partera’s work, into a shell of its former self. sigh…

  5. karotte
    Posted December 25, 2007 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Oooh, Angelina!

    I had the great fortune to spend two days with her this summer, and her clinic is a truly amazing, open and warm place to be. I witnessed my first out-of-hospital birth there with her, and it was simply wonderful. I will never forget it.

    I had no idea she was on YouTube. Thanks for this.

  6. SNM
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    These videos revived my spirit! Thank you for sharing them.

  7. iremarikan
    Posted April 8, 2009 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    this is great inspiration! I watched it with tears flowing. I would like to go and get at least a treatment from her. I had myself a c-section in the pushing phase, 2 yrs ago and now I want to have another child again. So trying to gather faith and inspiration before getting pregnant.
    Again thanks and thanks, I will share this video here in Istanbul with birth education instructors.
    And thank you for sharing your work experience,

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