Episode 019 - Birthing Abroad

Michelle was living in Guatemala when she got pregnant, and knew right away that she didn't want to return to the US to give birth.  She also knew that she didn't want to give birth in one of the national hospitals, and was fortunate to find a local midwife with a birth center practice.

Michelle shares her story of delivering both of her babies out of hospital and the incredible experience she had with her midwife, whose care Michelle felt was perfect for her and her family.  We get into how strange it was for her husband and his family to be able to be involved in the birth as that was uncommon in their area, and the various cultural differences and similarities in birth, postpartum and motherhood.

We love Michelle's description of mothering in community and how interconnected the lives of mothers and families are where she lives.  Motherhood can be such an isolating time in western cultures and it's refreshing to be reminded that there is another way.


In This Episode:

  • Choosing to give birth in Guatemala vs returning home to the US
     
  • Privilege and birth options in developing countries
     
  • Having her mother in law be present at her second birth, which is very uncommon in Guatemala
     
  • The experience of having a Cephalic Version performed to turn her breech baby (see show notes below)
     
  • How hyper aware of science and safety we can be in western cultures
     
  • Cultural values, the different ways to raise kids, and finding what works for you
     
  • Mothering in community

Show Notes:

Birth Center in Antigua

Birth Center Facebook Page

Article (in spanish) about rate of c-sections in Guatemala.  2 out of 5 births in Guatemala are at home with a "comadrona" or locally trained midwife. In private hospitals 94% of the births are cesarean sections.

Cephalic Version


About Our Guest:

Michelle Acker Perez is a former special education teacher from California. She currently lives in Guatemala where she works with a non-profit organization while also trying to raise two bilingual and bicultural kids. Michelle writes about motherhood, marriage and life in between two cultures and countries at simplycomplicated.me and documents daily life abroad on | Instagram | Facebook twitter