Lina's review of #HRiCIndia2017 @HRiCIndia2017

I will try my best to capture some quotes and highlights of the conference Day One Photo credit: Tina Nandi, Lydia Dhalen,

And so it began after much dedication + commitment

Prof Parasuraman opened the conference with a passionate speech, including his personal family history of women who breastfed. He stated that TISS would not entertain any "babykillers" in the form of supplemented foods or formula. Hence the day started with agreeable applause If we have healthy children and healthy mothers we will have a healthy nation

Inauguration - lighting a candle

Day one: Voices of Women What are the current lived realities for pregnant women seeking maternity healthcare? How have their experiences affected their health and wellbeing, their capacity to care for their children and their ability to function as healthy, contributing citizens? What are women's perceptions of the quality of the maternity healthcare they are receiving? (Program)

Are these women's voices and experiences being heard and used to shape maternal health policy and practice? How is childbirth situated in the bigger picture of women's autonomy and ability to make free decisions about their bodies and sexuality? (Extract from program)

Plenary panel and panel 1: #TooLittleTooLate

Dr Aparajita Gogoi (WRA India) opens her keynote with the disrespect shown to a woman named Geeta. Is this the norm in India? White Ribbon Alliance are asking 1 Lakh women what is the ONE thing important to them in their maternal health care

The white ribbon alliance India have released a charter on Human Rights in Maternal Health. WRA India had a stall at the conference with great information, resources and a petition.

Panel: "Clinical practices need to change. There is no mention of dignity, respect or rights in medical textbooks" "If a woman speaks too softly she is scolded. She is afraid . If she speaks too loudly, again she is wrong" Dr Prakasamma talks about the violation of women's rights. How did we end up in this mess? We can do better

Dr Prakasamma shares that India has let 500,000 traditional midwives go because of medical power. We have lost midwives in India and need to return for to them.

Janet Chawla

Speaks of the dais (the indigenous midwives) You can read more:

Freelance journalist Sohini Chattophadhyay presented her narrative of childbirth from east to west and poverty to affluence You can find her articles in Scroll: "The horrifying sights and sounds from the labour room of an Indian public hospital" and "It was the birth I was waiting for: Why urban Indian women want to have babies at home" Having read her work, I found it even more powerful when spoken by her voice, representing millions. @sohinichat (twitter)

Bangalore Birth Network BBN Asha Kilaru and Pushpalatha share perceptions of women from vulnerable groups about their care during childbirth. "Women are left alone for hours" "Family members are pleading outside the ward to be allowed to see the woman for a few moments" @bangalorebirth (twitter)

Day 1: Panel 2 Non- discriminatory access to maternity healthcare services and panel 3 #TooMuchTooSoon

"Access to maternity care and maternal health physically is improving but compassionate humanised care is not" "You already have 2 children, why have you come for a third?" (Threats and disrespect) "Why do women reject institutional deliveries despite cash incentives?" Says Nalini Visvanathan

Regina Tames came all the way from Mexico! She spoke of the global term "obstetric violence" which caused quite a stir. "Delayed access to healthcare, infants born outside, suffered abuse, forced cesarean, these are globally similar stories" @reginatames

Vijaya Krishnan shared spontaneously whilst all efforts were made to fix the film clips she had prepared. You can follow her work of an autonomous CPM midwife at Healthy Mother Wellness & Care on Facebook In the film we heard the "Women's Voices" of Hyderabad and the powerful messages of their stories. Fantastic statistics & a great midwifery model of care @healthymother (twitter)

@hannahdahlen tweeted "Heartbreaking stories of abuse of women from Lina Duncan - women beaten, children stolen, hearts broken" #ENOUGH @MumbaiMidwife (twitter)

Eka Maya Febriana (mother and midwife)

Shared her story as a mother birthing her footling breech baby vaginally. She then screened her film of a HBA2C: @ThinkPregnancy (twitter)

Subarna Ghosh from the #BirthIndiaOrg team presented: Women's Experiences and the politics of being unheard She captivated the room with her storytelling and own perspectives including her initiative for a petition "Make it mandatory for all hospitals to declare their number of cesarean deliveries" #SafeBirth

Birth India stall

@BirthIndiaOrg Thanks Sophia Preksha Sakshi and Shruti for your hard work at the stall and for your passion and commitment to put women in the centre of maternal health everywhere

A large highlight for me was to see my friend join the conference, community midwife for 20 years. She just networked with the government to get these toilets built in January 2017

Happy memories Learning Connecting New and old friends Collaborating for a future of improved Maternity health care


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