It’s good to see the latest issue of AIMS journal covering the topic of ‘policing pregnancy’ and looking at the way in which women who want to make choices that are outwith the guidelines are often persecuted, as are the midwives who support them. Good because it is vital that we continue to keep these hugely important issues in the spotlight, but of course also immensely sad that it remains necessary to continue focusing on the ill-treatment of women and midwives who do not toe the system’s line. It is appalling that we have systems of so-called care which attempt to force women to submit to interventions or practices that they do not want, that may potentially cause harm to themselves and their babies and that are often not evidence-based. I have been writing about this myself for some years now (beginning – I think – with a 2004 article called Choice, Control and the Parenting Police) and the arrival of AIMS Journal through my letterbox this week prompted me to remember Amanda, which was a pseudonym for a very real woman whose situation I discussed in that article, and to ponder the idea of whether and how things have changed.
Perhaps it’s my age, or maybe the fact that I have now been a midwife for more than half my life, but this notion of revisiting is something that keeps coming up for me lately. I have recently put the finishing touches to an article in which, ten years on from the publication my first work on vitamin K, I have revisited the research and other literature in this area to see what (if anything) we have added to our knowledge in that decade.
Yesterday, when I was talking to a friend about my new resolution to keep adding to my site, she said she thought it would be very interesting if I highlighted and revisited some of the other things I have written over the years, which seems like a great idea to me, because my recent experience of doing this in relation to vitamin K led me to conclude that there is much to be learned from doing this. Not to mention that fact that we need to keep some of these issues in the spotlight, because issues like the policing of pregnancy and midwifery remain very real for those who are dealing with them.
Update: I have now added the series that I promised (in the original version of this post) to write as a revisiting of my 2001 book, Anti-D in Midwifery: Panacea or Paradox?. You can find the first part here, or find more related posts by clicking on anti-D in the tag cloud on the right.