Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Rahima Baldwin Dancy became a direct-entry midwife in the 1970s, when she founded Informed Homebirth and wrote Special Delivery. After that she became a Waldorf early childhood and parenting educator and then returned to midwifery as co-director of The Birth Center in Dearborn, Michigan. In 2000 she began working with elders and completed a Masters in Gerontology and Organizational Change while caring for her mother and mother-in-law for six years in her home. She and her husband, Agaf, live in Boulder in a senior cohousing community, a “social experiment in aging in community.” She can be contacted at [email protected].

Natural After-Death Care: Completing the Circle of Midwifery

Like a number of midwives I know, as I have gotten older I’ve gone from attending births to attending the dying in some way, such as working with hospice, attending the dying as a doula, or helping families reclaim natural after-death care and holding vigils. The similarities between this sacred work at both ends of life are obvious, and both have traditionally been the realm of the sage femme/wise woman/midwife. The first time I provided natural after-death care was both a revelation and a revolution for me—one that seemed to bring my midwifery work full circle.

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