The Midwives Of The US-Mexico Border

The US-Mexico border is a tumultuous region, rife with routine border patrols and almost as routine attempts to cross it. With the acknowledgement of the state of the border, the upsurge in dating services like, people take great interest in the region.

One fact that will go unmentioned in any site like is how medical institutions in Mexico, like most countries in the Latin America region, tend to prefer cesarean procedure, regardless of the necessity of it.

Amidst the many vehicles driven in the border region, some are driven by midwives, like Ximena Rojas, who operates primarily around Tijuana, Mexico. Midwives, or partera, accompany mothers during the length of their pregnancy, and stand alongside them until the baby makes their first cries, sometimes longer than that, depending on the mother and baby.

Mexico only recently acknowledged midwifery as an actual profession, back in 2011, but even today, Rojas, who has assisted in over 350 births, says that midwives are not allowed to accompany their patients to the delivery room, as per the practice of public Mexican hospitals, which forbid even family members from being alongside pregnant mothers during labor.

Midwives, like Rojas, primarily help women who opt to undergo labor in their home to avoid the public hospitals in the country, where women are discriminated against, suffering through obstetric violence wherein they are abused and dehumanized by the hospitals.

Data from a national survey conducted by ENDIREH, released last year,33.4% of women in Mexico who had given birth suffered from obstetric violence from 2011-2016.

Mexico, in fact, has an unusually high rate of cesarean births, one of the highest numbers in the world, with about 45 out of 100 women undergoing the procedure during birth, according to data from the Secretariat of Health. This means that the rate of cesarean births in Mexico is three times the recommended figure set by the WHO.

ENDIREH 2016’s data also noted that, out of the 3.6M women that had a cesarean, 10.3% were not informed why they had to undergo the procedure, with 9.7% saying that they were not given a choice in the matter.

The midwives continue to operate throughout Mexico, as notable and more personal alternatives to public health centers, which is convenient for pregnant women across Mexico, some of which go to the US for labor, which notably has a high cesarean rate at 30%, but still lower than Mexico.