For those of you who have yet to come across her, Ina May Gaskin is an extraordinary figure in the world of birth. Activist, author, innovator but primarily still a midwife, Ina May Gaskin is responsible for the begiinings of what we hope will be a slow but steady revolution in the way birth is treated in the US. Up against a system that is even more medicalised than the UK’s, the statistics at The Farm where Ina May works speak for themselves…..in 2006 their c-section rate was 1.4% compared to the ever-increasing national US average of 31.1%. Their postpartum haemmorage rate is 1.8% and over 90% of women in their care give birth at home. Whilst the environment these women live in might make them more attuned to their bodies, the real difference is that Ina May and her team of midwives fundamentally understand the process of birth, trust in a woman’s capacity and adopt a specifically non-interventionist but very very supportive role. Here is a link to a recent interview that she gave whilst on a tour of the UK - it is well worth a listen. Ina May Gaskin’s Book ‘ A Guide to Childbirth’ is also essential. This is a lady who knows what she is talking about, and has thousands of extraordinary birth stories to prove it.