The role of traditional midwives varies across cultures and at different times and even today these traditional practitioners attend the majority of deliveries in rural areas in developing countries. According to WHO, each year 45 million births occur at home without skilled health personnel.
Skilled attendants assist in more than 99% of births in more developed countries, versus 62% in developing countries. In many rural and periurban communities, the perinatal care that traditional midwives offer is generally profoundly rooted in the local culture and collectively valuated as the result of hand-on experience. There is little doubt that traditional midwives play an important role when it comes to cultural competence, empathy and psychosocial support at birth with important benefits for the mother and the new-born baby. This book discusses global perspectives, practices and challenges involved in midwifery. (Imprint: Nova)