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Birth Situation Room:
Birth Models That Work

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This section of the Birth Situation Room presents models from around the world that work for the health and well-being of mothers and babies. We take a natural birth, non-interventionist approach so as not to damage mother or baby. We present articles on models that you might emulate or adapt in your own community. You might also purchase a powerful book describing many models from around the world, Birth Models That Work. —Jan Tritten

• Factors That Persuaded Nurses to Establish a Maternity Care Centre in Nepal  [December 2009/2010]
• Filipino president orders stronger breastfeeding strategy  [April 2008]
• Birth India  [April 2007]
• Amicus Maternity Center: Part I  [December 2007]
• Amicus Maternity Center: Part II  [March 2008]

Filipino president orders stronger breastfeeding strategy [April 2008]

In the wake of the Filipino Supreme Court’s decision upholding the country’s pro-breastfeeding laws, Filipino President Gloria Arroyo has publicly called for more effective public health strategies to promote breastfeeding. Speaking at a seminar on infant and young child feeding at a Manila hotel, President Arroyo urged the Department of Health to use breastfeeding programs to curb infant malnutrition and mortality.

“We must act and act fast to ensure that the nation builders of the future are provided with proper nourishment,” Arroyo said. She urged the DoH to work closely with hospitals to enforce the Filipino law which gives mothers the right to room-in with their newborn babies in hospital, a practice which supports breastfeeding.

“The promotion of breastfeeding for children up to two years old, with emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding for the infant’s first six months, is our fundamental approach to reduce if not eliminate hunger among infants and very young children,” she said.

Breastfeeding has been at the fore of the national agenda in the Phillipines for over a year as a highly-publicized legal battle was waged between the DoH and multinational formula companies over the right of the department to limit formula advertising and enforce strong pro-breastfeeding regulations. The supreme court upheld most of the DoH’s arguments and handed the department a qualified victory in October.

Arroyo’s speech affirmed the message already being trumpeted by health experts, who see breastfeeding as vital to improving the Philippines’ infant mortality rate, which currently stands at 32 deaths for every 1,000 births. Breastfeeding rates among Filipino mothers are very low, with only 16% of mothers exclusively breastfeeding their children. Ten thousand infants die in the country every year because of insufficient breastfeeding.

It is hoped that Arroyo’s support for breastfeeding, coupled with the enforcement of the Phillipines breastfeeding laws, will soon reduce these tragic numbers.


Birth India [April 2007]

We have recently established Birth India. Our aim is to educate and provide non interventionist birth in India and to address the rights of women in birth. I have given our mission statement below. We are looking for speakers for our inauguration conference.

Birth India promotes best practices and benefits of non interventionist child birth, both physical and psychological. Our aim is to reduce child and mother mortality and birth related disability amongst the poor and to reduce the amount of unnecessary cesarean sections in hospitals, thus promoting an ideal atmosphere for all births in India.

We aim to

  1. Provide support to and educate the Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA).
  2. Train midwives and birth coaches who can offer their service as support for home or hospital births during pregnancy, delivery and the newborn.
  3. Promote ideal natural birthing practices in slums, public and private hospitals, nursing homes, birth teachers and to all those involved in the field of birth; via seminars, pamphlets, brochures, film and consultancy.
  4. Train birth teachers and hold our own pre- and post-natal classes.
  5. Create a Web site:
    • to promote and provide information.
    • to offer a forum for women to talk to other women about their experiences
    • to provide a place to keep statistical information.
    • to provide links to other sites giving factual information on natural child birth.
  6. Disseminate information via the media.
  7. To join hands with government and NGO groups involved in this field, as well as organisations abroad.
  8. Establish birthing clinics which provide the best atmosphere for natural birth; the profits of these clinics fund free birth clinics for the poor providing a safe and loving atmosphere.