Aborignal midwifery and Poverty & Pregnancy in Aboriginal Communities

New articles in the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development

The Encyclopedia on Childhood Development is a compilation of hundreds of papers with the most up-to-date scientific knowledge on 44 topics, including FASD. These papers  are “translated” into friendly and informative syntheses for health and social service providers and parents.

The Encyclopedia also had a series called “Voices from the Field” where Canadian representatives from Aboriginal communities are invited to give their perspectives on these more “expert” papers. Two new “Voices from the Field” papers were recently released:

Cook’s paper discusses the importance of home visiting programs and describes how the development of Aboriginal midwifery is part of “shift-shaping in Aboriginal communities [that] promotes processes of care that support women in developing self-agency and control of their reproductive power; not just the reproduction of children but also production of culture, knowledge and development of women’s voices.”

Duchesneau explores research on low-income families and early childhood development. She comments: “In the Aboriginal community, the scope of the challenges to be met in order to achieve health parity entails basic changes, not only in the delivery of health care and social services, but also in the means and organization required to develop a delivery system suited to the specific characteristics of First Nations communities in general.”

Both authors cite Suzanne Tough who has been previously mentioned on this blog and who authored the “Call to action: Improving First Nations, Inuit and Métis maternal and child health in Canada” available on the Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research web site.

You might also be interested in an older paper by Della Maguire “An Aboriginal view on FAS/FAE” (June 15, 2004). Maguire comments on how many Aboriginal communities are farther ahead than non-native communities in education on FAS/FAE and moving beyond the denial stage. She challenges the idea of FASD as a women’s problem: “In the Aboriginal community, FAS/FAE is a partner, a family and even a community issue, because we are a collective society.”

The image above is from a paper for Aboriginal parents called “Alcohol use during pregnancy: A dangerous “cocktail.” (May 5, 2010).

The  Encyclopedia is also available in French.

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