Midwife crisis – Magyar

by Cunt Incognita (Pina in Budapest)


Short glimpses of the reality I encounter passing through Budapest.

Meeting with a woman who’s involved with the Birth Right movement in Hungary. Wanting to get legal recognition for midwives working in a different way – a more humane process of delivering life into this world. Letting the process take its time, and let the woman make her own decisions on how she wants to give birth.

The hospitals in their turn, are full of technical and chemical interventions that lead to the next intervention that in its turn lead to the next intervention. (A vaginal exam [intrusion], that increases the risk of infection, and therefor leads to intake of chemicals to start the contractions, and so on and so on.) A woman is treated as a baby-making machine that’s there to produce an infant within a specified time-frame, in order to not mess with the working-shifts of the doctors. The woman is taken away any control over the birth process and in some cases women have even experienced having doctors sitting on top of them pushing the baby out with hands and knees. Many end up with trauma. Depression. There has also been noted psychological effects on the babies.

A good film on the hospital birth and alternative birth situation in Hungary (the site is in Hungarian): Noras


FILM description in English: Noras – Stories from the labour room [78min]

“Suddenly, my doctor said: lie down properly on that bed, stop swaying,
don’t lie on your side… let’s give birth!”

Civilization places very strict controls on how women are allowed to
carry and to give birth to their children. In this documentary, you
can witness how very often these controls only offer an illusion of
safety and also how simple human kindness and the pleasure of birth
are lost among all the rules and regulations.

The film is in Hungarian with English subtitles.


There’s been a legal process in order to get recognition for the different way of the midwives, and the right to give birth at home. There’s been frustrating meetings between the two worlds of patriarchal technology and the more life-celebrating intuitive process based on the knowledge of the midwives.

The day I came to Budapest, it had just been made public that one of the main midwives speaking for the Birth Right movement will end up in court dealing with a case where an infant died during delivery.

Children still die in the process of giving birth. Both in and outside hospitals. The problem with the court-system is that it judges the “safety” of the process according to the hospital-model since the other is yet not recognized.

I hope that this conflict will at least raise some awareness around these issues.


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