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African Birth

Childbirth in Cultural Transition

The western world is characterized by a disparity between intellect and emotion. This manifests in the allocation of various professionals to the care of soma, psyche and soul. In contrast to Western compartmentalization, Africa merges the fundamental elements of human nature into an integrated whole. This book, in consequence, seeks congruence within the divergent frameworks of health and disease in Africa and the West in relation to pregnancy and birth. The book examines traditional African Birth customs and how these are modified with contact with Western birthing practices. It also includes a unique analysis of the effects of Apartheid on birth.


“An eye-opening read: more than just a fascinating compendium of information. It leaves one challenged and thinking, not only while reading, but possibly more importantly, even after the last page is finished” (Prof. Peter Fried Dept. of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada).

“Without doubt this is a most interesting exposition of African Traditional and Transitional Culture in respect of reproduction and a critical appraisal of the effects of Apartheid” (Dr. Frank Denny, Formerly: Consulting Obstetrician to the West London group of hospitals).

“An excellent book giving great insight into women’s needs at the interface of the first and third worlds.  This should be required reading for midwives, medical students and doctors and, indeed, for anybody with an interest in cross cultural obstetrics” (Dr James McIntyre, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Baragwanath Hospital, University of Witwatersrand).

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