First Nations Midwifery

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TITLE: FIRST NATIONS MIDWIFERY NAME: SALAM IFEJESU STUDENT NUMBER: 200356851 COURSE NAME: INHS 100 INSTRUCTOR: JULLIET. O. BUSHI INTRODUCTION Midwifery has been practiced in several communities of the world since time immemorial. A midwife is a trained person, mostly a woman, who assists in the pregnancy, delivery and post-partum care of an infant. In most countries of the world, the act of midwifery has been neglected for more modern and westernized medical practices deemed safer. In the First nations community, midwives have always been an integral part of the health system assisting expecting women during delivery. In the mid nineteenth and twentieth century, midwifery was outlawed in many communities and reserves ‘for the sake of the health of the country’ (Parkland Memorial Hospital School of Nurse Midwifery). With the outlaw of midwifery in First nation reserves, expectant mothers were transported to hospitals and clinics in urban centers for delivery. With this came several new challenges for expectant first nations women and mothers including, ‘increased maternal newborn complications, increased postpartum depression and decreased breast-feeding rates’ (O’Neil et al., 1990, Smith, 2002 and Klein et al., 2002a. The relegation of first nations midwifery has done more harm than good because it makes the birth process more medical, has led to the inflict of new post natal diseases and has led to the neglect of the traditional and spiritual roles in child
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