Stories: Childbirth

  • The Afterbirth Miracle

    It’s late June, but it’s chilly in Asella, Ethiopia—the city is higher in altitude than Denver—and the patients in the hospital are wrapped in blankets. Dr. Mulu Muleta puts on a white doctor’s jacket and starts making her rounds. She checks in with each woman, holding the patient’s...

  • Make Women Matter

    She would never tell her family. They could never know. I was amazed that the young woman was brave enough to tell her story at all. With a teary smile she explained that she was telling us because she was just so happy that her life was not over as feared. She was just so relieved to have found...

  • Ethiopia’s Key to Safer Births? Better Roads

    From the booming capital of Addis Ababa to Ethiopia’s remotest border regions, excavators are busy scraping earth, making way for roads that will finally connect the far reaches of this largely rural country. Ergedu Mitiku rocks her seven-week-old son in her home in Mosebo, a village in Ethiopia's Amhara Region on June 19. 2014. There...

  • In Brazil, Half of All Mothers Have C-Sections - Whether They Want It or Not

    Cesarean sections were intended as emergency surgery to get a baby out of a woman's womb when complications arose during vaginal childbirth. But in some parts of the world, they are almost standard practice for childbirth. Take, for example, Brazil. “About half of all births are by Cesarean section,” said Marissa Miley, deputy editor of...

  • Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections

    A newborn lies in an incubator at the Perinatal Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after birth via cesarean section. Photo: Felipe Dana/AP When Ivana Borges learned she was pregnant, she told her obstetrician that she wanted a natural birth. Her mother had delivered five children without surgery or medication, and Borges wanted to follow her example. But...

  • No Woman Should Lose Her Life, Giving Life

    Mrs. Bello has been bleeding since giving birth.  Let’s go back to the beginning. A true-life story is told about a pregnant woman (whom I’ll refer to as Mrs. Bello) who did not realize her pregnancy had gone past nine months. It was not until her neighbour offered to introduce her to a local...