Prague: A Midwifery Education

June 3, 2014

Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.


This writing task is easy. I would be in Prague with all those midwives from all those countries, sharing knowledge, expertise, experience and cultural differences and similarities.  It must be wonderful to listen to the different languages and accents but all with one common theme.

Women and babies of course exist all over the world. Predominantly women are midwives. Birth has historically and culturally been “women’s business”.  I do wonder what the statistics are for the International Confederation of Midwives conference with regard to male attendance. I suspect there is a very small minority of men present. I also suspect those men who practise midwifery, are there in very minor numbers.

I feel I am almost there, as I Tweet frequently and lurk in the ether, reading other’s tweets and the various blogs and other items signposted and hyperlinked.  I am learning a great deal about midwifery beyond my protected shores of the United Kingdom. Yet it is apparent that we share more than we differ. Women still get pregnant and the problems are often the same,  but how they are managed is very different dependent upon the setting and the access to trained health care.


Luckily I had been to Prague earlier in the year so can picture the delegates on Charles Bridge and in the town square, with its strange clock, that does its dance on the hour every hour.  All will stand and see, as it is one of the things to see in Prague.  I never thought I would see a gathering of so many midwives in Kampa Park, but there they are.

The Vitava River divides the city, but as I have said the conference summaries speak of more togetherness and oneness than I might have imagined.

The setting is Prague, but actually I now realise this is the prelude to my trip to Cambodia. I am one of those lucky midwives chosen by the RCM to go on a Twinning adventure.  I understand now, that watching the events in Prague and gathering information on births in other cultures and often where there are few if any healthcare facilities, is like taking a course in foreign midwifery studies.

The Prague conference and its discussion of worldwide midwifery is preparing me for what I might see and do in January 2015. I am grateful and jealous all at the same time.

As the sun goes down and the lights go on, Prague becomes a beautiful city.  I believe that the presence of all those midwives has made it an even more magical place and I really wish I were there.


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