Sidonie Le Poul-Petit and other homebirth midwives, across france, are upholding the right for women to maintain access to a service, which truly values and respects the physiology of birth.
A friend of a friend told me about these homebirth midwives today and it has literally rocked my world.
The frenchies have got a bit of a bad rep when it comes to birthing ‘au naturel.’ So I was absolutely over the moon to see that there are still some incredibly strong and powerful French midwives who continue to fly the tricolour for women’s choice and freedom, to birth outside of the managed, obstetric environment.
It’s an incredibly brave move as it means that homebirth midwives like Sidonie, who work in the Paris region, are forced to work without insurance. She is quick to share this information with parents as soon as she meets them, engaging them in partnership with her. Sidonie is taking a personal and professional risk, every day, in order to to uphold true choice and autonomy for women.
Jacqueline Lavillioniere, was a homebirth midwife for over 30 years in the Ardeche region of France, and now focuses on campaigning for a greater respect for the physiology of birth across France. As Jacqueline explains; this campaign is not simply about a relentless quest for homebirth in and of itself (She herself says would have been happy to work in a maternity unit if there was any chance of birth physiology being respected there). It is about providing an alternative to the dominant obstetric system in France. The fact that doctors dominate decision-making, that natural birth and pain are feared, the threat of litigation…this all prevents a calm and serene birth being possible inside the current obstetric structures in France.
“L’objectif n’est pas l’accouchement domicile…l’objectif c’est ou que nous soyons, les sages femmes puissent permettre a la physiologie d’etre respectée”
“The objective is not just homebirth, the objective is that we, the midwives, can allow the physiology of birth to be respected, no matter where.”
I’m afraid this webpage is only available in French but if you REEEEEALLLY want to read it and you are uni-lingual then please email me here and (if there are a few of you) I’ll translate the text into English. (Because everyone really deserves to read about their fantastic work).
BUT THIS IS THE BEST BIT OF ALL: these wonderful midwives have made a beautiful documentary film (with english subtitles!) about their work, which is currently being screened across France and will soon be available on DVD!
You can see the trailer with English subtitles here
It is also available with Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese subtitles so let’s get it shared around the world!
Just watching the trailer practically brought me to tears (nobody does films like the french do films!) and I absolutely cannot wait to see it.
If you would be interested in seeing the full film then please email me here and I can arrange a viewing in London and/or Paris once I get my hand on the goods!!!
You can read more about 'accouchement a domicile' on the ADD website here:
and read more about the collectif de defense de l’accouchement domicile here: http://cdaad.org