Imagine you are a young women, living in a one-room hut with dirt floors with 20 people, barely enough food to cut you hunger pains and not enough money to travel to access prenatal care. On the night your labor begin you get a ride on the back of scooter and arrive to a maternity birth center clinic Bumi Sehat that you heard of where midwives will care for you. You are greeted with a warm hug and someone looking in your eyes to say I love you!
You enter your small cozy labor room and a tub is soon filled for you and flower petals sprinkled around you. When your baby’s head begin to emerge the midwife, her assistant, other midwives who are not busy enter and join the circle to sing the gayatri mantra, a sacred Balinese song to sing your baby into the world.
Your placenta is greeted into a bowl and more flowers are placed around it so you can rest in bed with your baby skin to skin, and when you are ready be a part of the sacred cutting of the cord, of if you want you can have a lotus birth.
This is the care Robin provides as every MotherBaby and family is greeted with love. With little resources she is rich with caring and has greatly lowered both maternal and infant mortality in Bali with her gentle midwifery knowledge, skills and love. Think of how we greet women in our hospitals today? How about women with no documented prenatal care?
Imagine if every woman in childbirth was greeted the way Ibu Robin greets every women- with gentleness, love and understanding.
It is this same type of care and love I believe we must also bring to the caregivers who don’t have the benefit of the midwifery training and knowledge you have on how to keep birth safe and low-risk. Many physicians, nurses and administrators are struggling now to find the way in our dysfunctional technocratic system. They too need your midwifery wisdom and care. We must show all caregivers that regardless of their training they can embrace a midwifery model of care. That together we can reclaim the her-story of birth with the wisdom and nurturing techniques that midwives have handed down through the ages.
Robin Lim often asks groups of midwives in Indonesia to together say three words, and I will ask you to say them, I love you.