Women's History Month Spotlight: Ina May
Ellie SaldanaLA, California
One of my feminist heroes is Ina May Gaskin, founder of the the midwifery center on Tennessee's Farm commune. Coming out of the 50’s and 60’s, when women in the US were routinely drugged to the point where they had no recognition of their birth experience, Ina May was instrumental in the re-normalization of birth in our country.
Ina May has spent her career attending births, training midwives to deliver babies with minimal intervention, and teaching women that birth is not something to fear. The success of her techniques has led her to be the only midwife with an obstetrical move named after her and under her supervision, and The Farm has a lower infant mortality rate than the national average.
I read many books while pregnant with my daughter but none was as inspirational or has remained with me after giving birth like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a must read for all pregnant women. Whether it inspires all women to fantasize about dropping everything to go to Louisiana and give birth under the care of Ina May and her midwives I can’t say, but I’m sure something in her book will resonate with most women and give them additional confidence while bringing a new life into this world.
For anyone who is interested in learning more about this inspirational woman but does not have the time or interest in one of her books I recommend watching her TED talk to learn more about Ina May and birthing without fear.