Friday, May 1, 2009

Midwifery, sustainability and International Day of the Midwife 2009

One of the themes that has shown up in the program for the virtual International Day of the Midwife 2009 is sustainability.

Carbon footprint
In one session, Lorna Davies is talking about carbon footprint. To be honest, I am not sure where Lorna is going with this, but you can find out more about her thoughts on the sustainability wiki that she has set up: EcoMidwife.

Sustainable parenting
The second session is by Anna Hughes, who is a lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin. Anna has recently written two blog posts about sustainable parenting from a mother's point of view.

Nappy-free babies
Her first post is about raising a nappy-free baby. I have to say that up to now I have thought that parents who do this are stark, starring mad. But I really enjoyed Ann's explanation of how to tune in to a baby's behavior, and I think this post is an excellent resource for parents wishing to pursue this model of parenting.

Sustainable midwifery practice
In the second post, Anna challenges midwives about the things we can do to support sustainable parenting. I agree that the two biggest things we can do to support sustainability is to carry out more home births, and encourage breastfeeding. As a hospital and home birth midwife, I know I use far more commodities in hospital because I don't have to pay for them, and there is a never-ending supply of plastic and paper.

If you would like to know and join in the discussion about sustainability, have a look at Lorna's wiki and Anna's blog, and join us on International Day of the Midwife on May 5th.

Image: 'medical waste' GregPC

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