A group of Palestinian and Israeli midwives are working together to ensure that pregnant mothers in Israel and the Palestinian territories have safe and natural births.
The Midwives Coexistence Project is a group of Palestinian and Israeli midwives who work together toward peace by using their combined knowledge to help pregnant Israeli and Palestinian mothers experience safe and natural births.
A project from the NGO Circle of Health International, since 2004 the midwives have worked with women throughout Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Two key goals are to reduce the use of anesthetics during birth and to enable women to give birth without a doctor, assisted only by a midwife, if they so choose.
ISRAEL21c accompanied the midwives on a visit to a birthing center in Mithaloon, the only birthing center in the West Bank, where women can deliver their babies assisted only by a midwife. The center is struggling and under-funded.
Israeli project coordinator Gomer Ben Moshe and Palestinian coordinator Aisha Saifi agree that the unforgettable experience of childbirth creates a bonding environment for the midwives, who discover, as they work together, that they share much more in common than they thought.