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Lessons from Chiapas: Caring for Indigenous Women Through a Femifocal Model of Care

  • Cristina Alonso
  • Alison Danch
  • Jenna Murray de López
  • Janell Tryon
Chapter
Part of the Global Maternal and Child Health book series (GMCH)

Abstract

By highlighting the various ways in which indigenous women in the colonial city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas manage maternal health and birth care, in this chapter we intend to provide a counter-narrative to the dominant approach which conflates medicalized maternal health with low mortality ratios; regardless of the quality of interventions and the cultural preferences of diverse populations. Our research and practice experience shows that indigenous and nonindigenous women throughout Mexico continue to seek the services of midwives and out-of-hospital care, regardless of the improvements in access to public services. This observation alone raises important questions about the divide between the type of public services available to indigenous and low-income women, and their needs and desires around the lifecycle process of motherhood. This chapter also discusses Luna Maya, established in 2004 as a femifocal birth center and midwifery training program. Luna Maya has provided a safe space to poor and victimized women, and especially indigenous women, to recover their power and strength, becoming a model in Latin America for out-of-hospital birth and integrative care.

Keywords

Indigenous women Maternal health Mexico Pregnancy Central America Prenatal care Chiapas Midwife Maternal morbidity Maternal mortality Midwifery training Education Pregnancy education Maya Luna Maya Traditional midwife Femifocal Training 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Alonso
    • 1
  • Alison Danch
    • 2
  • Jenna Murray de López
    • 3
  • Janell Tryon
    • 4
  1. 1.Luna Maya Birth CenterMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Indiana Institute on Disability and CommunityIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  4. 4.San Francisco Department of Public HealthSan FranciscoUSA

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