Friday, January 8, 2010

Obsterician Wendy Savage up for BMJ Group Lifetime Achievement Award 2010

Professor Wendy Savage is a very special obstetrician who has tirelessly campaigned for women's childbirth rights for many years. She has now been nominated for the British Medical Journal Group Lifetime Achievement Award 2010. I would highly recommend that you vote for her here.

I first became aware of Wendy's work in the early 1980s when I was a young midwife in England. Wendy was suspended for some time for alleged incompetence but was exonerated. She became a feminist icon for the way she challenged paternal medical attitudes to childbirth. I actually met her a few years ago in New Zealand and found we had both worked in Gisborne for a time.

The thing that stands out for me about Wendy is that she has always been willing to stand up for what she feels is right, supporting women to achieve their potential in birth. At a time when women have been given less and less choice in birth, Wendy has stood firm and supported women to birth naturally. In particular she has campaigned for a reduction in caesarean section and has supported vaginal breech birth. This has got her in trouble at times with her medical colleagues but she has always stayed true to her philosophy, and has been very supportive of midwives.

You can read more about Wendy's views in her book "Birth and Power".

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