by Kate Furbush
Silvia and I went to the mountains to meet with traditional midwives to talk about the placenta. After a long bumpy ride up there, I was welcomed by a group of women from all ages who were gathered on the porch of the town’s health clinic. After some chatting and a beautiful group prayer, we sat in a circle and Silvia began her presentation. First, all the midwives had a chance to share their stories about what they had done when the placenta did not want to come out. I was fascinated by their wise, innovated techniques. One midwife would put salt in the woman’s hands and have her make a fist and squeeze to stimulate the body. Another had a mix of herbs she put into a tea and said that right after the woman would drink it the placenta would come out. Another said she tried gently sticking her finger to the back of the woman’s throat to stimulate her gag reflex, which she said worked very well. And then the midwives listened as Silvia shared some of her wisdom with the group. It was great to see the conversations this meeting sparked, and everyone left feeling more equipped and confident. The next meeting will be soon!