Our waterbirth community has expanded over the past 20 years to include individual families, hospitals and birth centers from 91 countries around the world. Mothers write us daily from all parts of the globe. Many hospitals, in the developed world, have made waterbirth an available option in places like the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, the United States, Norway, Denmark, and even some larger cities in Poland, Russia, Latvia and Estonia. Home birth is also prevalent in the developed world and many midwives offer waterbirth.
We are asked each month to advise mothers and their providers on how to make the transition to introduce waterbirth into care facilities. Our Director, Barbara Harper, has received invitations to many of these places, like Mexico, Taiwan, China, Korea, Turkey, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, Barbados, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, Iceland and even Canada and cities in the US, to lecture and assist hospitals in establishing protocols.
Barbara Harper in Monterrey, Mexico following the Humanization of Birth Conference. She taught a waterbirth workshop for the hospital staff of the
El Centro de Ginecología y Obstetricia. Pictured here are the directors, Dr. Pérez, Dr. Gonzáles, Dr. Sánchez and Dr. Gutiérrez along with Barbara Brittingham Powers, the director of the conference and international advocate for birth change.
|The very first couple to birth in water in a hospital in Taiwan. The proud parents were happy to relate their birth story for the local media in a press conference a month after their birth. Dr. Kuang-Ta Huang, the obstetrician, has continued to offer waterbirth for couples who come to the Shing Zhuang Clinic in Taipei and hosted Barbara Harper and Dr. Jan Stafl, an OB from Eugene, Oregon, for a two day waterbirth conference for doctors and nurses in March of 2006.
Our biggest achievement in creating community around waterbirth has been the
"I was born in water" list. This listing (which is only partial while we contemplate how to put over 5000 names up on our site) has brought women together in a common cause. The women who experience waterbirth want to have the opportunity to use water for their next baby and for all their friends and relatives and eventually their own daughters. From the families that this list represents we have received photos, birth stories, testimonials, volunteer help, donations, memberships and well wishes from thousands of mothers, fathers, grandmothers, midwives, doctors and nurses. We feel blessed to participate in this amazing opportunity to share and bring together the diverse people of the planet in this way. This is what makes a community.