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Birth in Bangladesh: why do people react to this photo?

I’ll be honest, when I got back from meeting families in Bangladesh, this wasn’t the image from the trip that I thought would stimulate the most debate.

It’s been a busy time since I got back and I’ve still got a lot to share with you, but I just wanted to take a moment to share the photo that really seems to make people sit up and take note.

This is Shefali’s home. It’s where she eats, where she sleeps. It’s where she has given birth six times. It’s a good example of where mums in her area have to give birth. It’s why we want to build better facilities for them.

What are your thoughts about the photo? Why do you think it sparks so much discussion? Leave a comment. Seriously, I’d like to know.

A personal reaction

A couple of weeks ago I shared this photo with some inspiring bloggers. Many of them were parents. They were distraught that a woman would have to bring their child into the world here.

A home birth, away from the sterile hospital rooms, might be just what many women want. But in the UK they can expect to have help from a midwife.

Shefali didn’t have a choice. She didn’t have any help; or anything resembling the care we’re afforded in this country.

Is this where you imagine your child being born?

This week I met seven amazing midwives who had come to support the Build it for Babies appeal.

One of them, a home birthing specialist, is responsible for approving homes as a suitable place to give birth. I’m sure you can imagine her response when we asked whether Shefali’s home would pass.

As a home, Shefali’s house does the trick. But as a place to give birth, I think she deserves better. And judging by the reactions to this photo, I don’t think I’m alone in that.

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