• Birthing change: an ethnographic study of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Bennett, Danielle M. Redmond (2013-05)
      This study examines the practices of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in order to understand how midwives help clients navigate the process of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period with a high rate of success, as defined by a low cesarean rate, low mortality and morbidity, and high maternal satisfaction. How do the midwives prepare mothers to navigate the transformation and how do they address failure to progress during birth? This study analyzes birth as a rite of passage, which incorporates a culture's worldview and its practices. These outcomes are achieved by employing a positive, holistic view of the natural, physiological process, by using practices that support the physiological process and minimize intervention, and by keeping the space in which out-of hospital birth takes place. The fact that parents are choosing an alternative ritual for birth at an increasing rate nationwide reflects a change happening in American culture.