Magazine article New Internationalist

On the Web

Magazine article New Internationalist

On the Web

Article excerpt

www.newint.org

Indigenous mothers-to-be: not mothers enough?

Pregnant women from indigenous communities face multiple layers of discrimination. Cheryl Gallagher reports.

When 33 year-old Maria, an indigenous woman of Maya K'iche' ethnicity from Santa Lucia la Reforma in Nicaragua, fell pregnant with her fourth child, her refused to let her have antenatal care. Her husband claimed that traditional birthing attendants had little training and were too expensive.

The night Maria went into labour, her family called a neighbour who had no medical training to attend the birth and help with the delivery. After the baby was born, the neighbour cut the umbilical cord badly and Maria began to haemorrhage.

Worried that she would be accused of harming the mother and the baby, the neighbour fled, leaving Maria's family to try to stop the bleeding. …

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