outlaw midwives volume 1

From Mai’a Williams editor and contributor to outlaw midwives vol1:


outlaw midwives zine is here!

it has been an honor to get read so many beautiful stories, poems, essays from mamas, midwives, doulas, students, unattached women. thank you. and i am so excited to share it with all of you…because revolutionaries are born everyday…

soon i will be posting a pdf version so that folks can print it out themselves…

and more options to enjoy the outlaw midwives zine are coming soon…

and the call for submissions for outlaw midwives volume 2 will be posted soon, so if you weren’t able to submit to this zine, don’t worry, you can get another chance

online you can read it here: http://issuu.com/maiamedicine/docs/outlaw_midwives


I’m so happy to have been able to participate in this project. Outlaw midwives has helped me to completely rethink birthing. Here’s a few excerpts to entice and enliven:

From outlaw midwives manifesta by Mai’a Williams-

Our intelligence, agency, and subjectivity are central. The health of the next generation depends on the psychological, physical and spiritual health of the mother today, our levels of stress, support networks, confidence and joy.

From anti-oppression work and midwifery by K. Emvee-

Direct-entry midwifery in the US is the domain overwhelmingly of white, middle class, straight women serving largely white, middle class, straight women. How can we pretend that we serve all women when this is the case?

From Baby clothing tips for poor mamas by Aaminah Al-Naksibendi-

[Buy] shirts big – especially t-shirts. Why not? A baby looks adorable in slouchy, baggy clothes and then they will grown into them. This helps you get the most out of the shirts. For example, a bigger size shirt can make a cute dress on a walking baby, and then still work as a shirt as she grows.

*Oh definitely. My four-year old is wearing a “shirt” right now that was once a dress. And she has a favorite hoodie that says it is sized for an 18 month old!

From The Best Midwife by Me-

So, while I was pregnant and living in this country I couldn’t find a midwife to attend my homebirth. That just isn’t done here anymore. Afterall, that is not what the barbarians do. This country has embraced the barbarians’ brand of civility and medical intervention and sterileness and clinical birth settings. The citizens have bought (literally) the barbarians’ lies which tell them that if the citizens don’t adopt the barbarians’ ways of life then the citizens are in fact the true barbarians. I have even been told that homebirthing is now illegal here.

Other self-published gems (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) can be found at Thura Zine Distro.

6 thoughts on “outlaw midwives volume 1

  1. Assalaamualaiki:

    I think the zine is beautiful and really enjoyed your contribution in particular, Masha’Allah : )

    I also read it with a heavy heart b/c my journey to motherhood will “never” (Allah of course knows best) be natural and while I am inspired by the rightful questioning of the medical establishment- for some of us, this establishment becomes necessary.

    It is indeed a traumatic experience that is hard to talk about-like a life in the shadows of “normal” depictions of fertility, pregnancy or birth. The most intimate relations between partners are exposed.

    You know sis how language cannot always bear the weight…

  2. Walaikum Asalam Sis,

    Thank you and absolutely. I use doctors the same way I use mechanics, because I have to and with a huge dose of skepticism. My fourth was a necessary c-section and as much as I had thought that was the ONE thing I didn’t want, what I really didn’t want was to be dead or have a dead baby which in that situation we both may have been. And I was really glad to not have to hand over my life completely to the hospital as they expect people to do, ya know? I was able to refuse things and demand things that are so reasonable and humane, yet I know many people just waive all their rights and personality when the enter into the medical culture. Doctors truly are God-like (astagifirAllah) in our culture–and it’s spreading!

    Maybe you will consider writing for #2? Yeah, yeah?

    Love and Peace

  3. Absolutely with you on the God-like syndrome. Writing about my experiences may do me some good, Insha’Allah : )

  4. As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu Dear Brooke


    It’s sad you couldn’t find a midwife. There are a lot of them here in Pennsylvania.

  5. Walaikum asalam wa rahmatullahi wabarakatahu,

    I think the pendulum has to swing back. There was a time when midwifery was nearly dying out in the states and now it is building back up. I know from a friend that in one village area here they introduced a clinic and when women starting using it they disliked it so much that many choose to homebirth instead, so insha Allah the practice won’t completely die out, it just needs to be revived.

    One of the many questions I get asked about living here is about medicine–people have some really ridiculous ideas about medicine being–I don’t know–non-modern here, but really it is what I would consider over-medicated. People rely very heavily on medical intervention and trust it way too much. But I think some people are learning, just as some Americans have, to not trust doctors/medicine just because THEY say you should.

    With my last birth in Alaska it was very difficult to find a midwife even though there are tons of them because they have all agreed to to the terms of their own board to be registered and that includes not doing v-bacs. So I had one, one midwife to choose from to birth at home. AlhumdiAllah for that.

  6. Salaams.

    Yes, i would say that in the U.S., the problem isn’t a lack of midwives so much as an over-abundance of “professional” midwives who are inaccessible (unaffordable, unwilling to work with certain mothers/situations, unwilling to listen to mothers, unpleasant, willingly tied up in so many regulations, culturally incompetent, just as bossy as any doctor, etc.) to many women.

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