A new series, Birthrights, is available on Al Jazeera English that explores maternal health throughout the world. From AJE:
Maternal health is about more than just mothers and babies. Across the globe the very business of delivering life into the world is determined by power, politics and, all too frequently, poverty.
There may be a lack of facilities or too much medical intervention; women may be struggling to deliver their babies healthily or trying to control families through the termination of unwanted pregnancies; and the challenges could be rural remoteness or an urban culture dominated by media messages. Whatever the specifics, maternal health and the way women give birth is a global issue that affects us all.
This series takes us on a journey around the world – to Ethiopia, Hungary, Vietnam, the US, Guatemala and elsewhere. We hear a wide range of stories from women in vastly different circumstances, exploring their roles as mothers, the challenges they face around birth and labour as well as some of the ways they are trying to improve maternal health in their communities.
The first three installments focus on the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia that we featured on the blog in February. The fourth follows homebirth midwifes in Hungary, the fifth features teen pregnancy in the United States, the sixth is on illegal abortion in Guatemala, the seventh is on the growth in c-section use in the US (a topic we covered on GlobalMama), and the eighth and final installment is on Hmong midwives in Vietnam. Details and airtimes for each segment are available on AJE’s website.