Thursday, October 19, 2006
Taking flight in Milwaukee
I had a feeling, when I first saw architect Santiago Calatrava's gorgeous pavilion he designed for the Milwaukee Art Musuem, that this city had a way of embracing new ideas. The structure, which looks like a bird about to take off over Lake Michigan, was inspiring as I passed it on my way to Harry Schwartz Bookshop last night. Indeed, I felt some wind beneath my wings at the reading, attended by childbirth educators, doulas, mothers and women curious about history, health and the strange story of man-midwives dressing in drag. The conversation amongst themselves even continued after I had left. One woman said she is sensing a pendulum swing, with some mothers starting to rebel against the over-medicalization of childbirth. To that end, check out a new report released today by Childbirth Connection, a group that has been around since 1918 to improve maternity services. The astonishing survey, called Listening to Mothers II, asked more than 1,500 women who gave birth in an American hospital in 2005 what their experience was like. Go to www.chilbirthconnection.org. Next stop: Madison.