Home birth emergencies in the U.S. and Mexico :

The Trouble with Transport
Robbie Davis-Floyd Ph.D.

This article appears in a special issue of Social Science and Medicine, called Reproduction Gone Awry, edited by Marcia Inhorn and Gwynne Jenkins, Vol. 56, No. 9, 2003,pp. 1913-1931.

Proponents of the global Safe Motherhood Initiative stress that primary keys to safe home birth include transport to the hospital in cases of need and effective care on arrival. In this article, which is based on interviews with American direct-entry midwives and Mexican traditional midwives, I examine what happens when transport occurs, how the outcomes of prior transports affect future decision-making, and how the lessons derived from the transport experiences of birthing women and midwives in the U.S. and Mexico could be translated into improvements in maternity care. My focus is on home birth in urban areas in Mexico and the US.

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