Taking Back Birth: Ina May Gaskin

April 28, 2009

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Venessa Tarbell

Nominee: Ina May Gaskin, Midwife, Director of the Farm Midwifery Center

Ina May Gaskin has been a tireless advocate for midwifery and the health of women for nearly forty years. Her unyielding faith in the ability of a woman’s body to birth a child, her trust in the process of birth, and her courageous criticism of unnecessary interventions in a woman’s pregnancy and labor have inspired countless mothers to take back their births. Her books are an inspiration to all who remain fascinated by the mother-fetus relationship and the process of childbirth.

When I was pregnant, I began questioning procedures that have become routine and the commonly accepted myth that childbirth is unavoidably terrifying. Ina May’s words reassured me that birth can and should be empowering and beautiful. I know that I am only one of many, many women who found comfort and inspiration in her writing and activism.

Thank you, Ina May!

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